Exercise Ball Workouts
Who says you need expensive equipment or a lot of space to get in a good strength training workout at home? All you really need is an exercise ball and you'll have a fun, versatile way to strengthen your core muscles for better balance, endurance, and injury prevention. These workouts are easy on the joints and surprisingly effective.
If you don't already have an exercise ball, you can purchase one at any sporting goods store. Make sure you get the right size for your height, which will be indicated on the box. When you're sitting on the ball, your upper legs should be parallel to the floor.
This simple but effective exercise targets your abdominal muscles.
Sit up on your knees with your arms extended in front of you and your hands resting on the ball. Keep your back straight as you engage your abs and slowly roll the ball forward until your upper arms are pressed against the ball to your armpits. Squeeze your abs while you inhale and exhale three times. Slowly move back to the starting position and repeat five to fifteen times, depending on your fitness level.
The exercise ball helps you maintain good squat form while targeting your leg and glute muscles.
Stand in the starting squat position with your knees slightly bent and your back at a comfortable angle to the floor. Hold the ball out in front of you, keeping your arms parallel to the floor. Engage your abs, rotate your trunk to the left, and reach, holding the position for three full breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat on the right side. Perform as many reps as you can.
Nothing works out your core and arm muscles quite like the plank. This exercise ball variation is more comfortable than standard planks but it's just as effective.
Lie on your stomach on top of the ball with your legs extended behind you with your feet on the floor. Lean forward slowly until you're touching the floor with your hands. Walk your hands away from the ball until only your upper thighs are resting on the ball, feet above the floor behind you. With your shoulders directly above your hands, engage your core and hold the position for at least three breaths or as long as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat five to fifteen times.