For this article, I will interchange the terms “fitness ball” and “stability ball Exercises,” because according to Wikipedia, people have applied these two terms, among many, to the exercise ball. I will be addressing actual ball workouts for use with this versatile piece of inflatable vinyl exercise equipment that has rolled its way into the hearts of many fitness enthusiasts.
First, when purchasing your fitness ball, know your height and weight to fit the ball to your size. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, as many men do, I would suggest buying a burst-resistant ball. Balls come in 3 basic sizes; 55 cm for 5’ 4” and under, 65 cm for 5’5” to 5’11” and 75 cm for 6’ and above.
Second, before you being your 10 fitness ball workouts, your first attempt to use the ball will be very difficult. It will tend to roll away from you and perhaps cause a nasty fall. For your early workouts, you may hold the ball against a wall or something flat, or you may place one hand on either side of the ball to steady it.
Ten Fitness Ball Exercises
To those of you who are familiar with other types of exercises, say abs workouts or weight training, you may recognize some of the exercises or workout names, and other forms of exercises with a fitness ball that you have already incorporated into your workout routine.
Here are the ten stability ball workouts, along with the affected muscle groups. The movements focus on stability and balance, which will involve the greatest number of muscles.
In fact, the workouts benefit both the targeted muscle groups and the stabilizing muscles, allowing you to burn many more calories than performing the original routines alone.
1) Squats with an Exercise Ball; these benefit lower back, glutes, thigh and leg muscles.
2) Birddogs with an Exercise Ball; these help with balance.
3) Supine Bridges with an Exercise Ball; they work the abs, back, hips, glutes and thighs.
4) Push-ups with an Exercise Ball; we military veterans remember the good old push-up and how its movement worked our arms, chests and upper backs. These are push-ups “on steroids.”
5) Abdominal Tucks with an Exercise Ball; as suggested, these work your ab and core muscles. **CAUTION** this is an inverted position, meaning that you will be practically standing on your hands. If you have high blood pressure or wrist pain from previously broken wrists, DO NOT do this exercise. Find another abs workout to suit you.
6) Hamstring Curls with an Exercise Ball; they work hips and thighs.
7) Crunches with an Exercise Ball; they provide an ab workout.
8) Walk-outs with an Exercise Ball; they provide strength to the upper body, similar to the push-ups.
9) Balance with an Exercise Ball; just as the name says, it strengthens your balance.
10) T, Y, I with an Exercise Ball; this interesting exercise starts with you lying prone on the ball, moving your arms outward at your sides for the T, then tells you to lift your arms upward into a Y position. Finally, you clasp hands above your head.
In addition, if you like doing presses, replace the bench with the ball, and do some of the stability ball exercises with weights or other exercise tools.
If you decide to buy your fitness ball, be sure to have plenty of water for hydration and sit and rest between ball exercises. There are many sources for free Fitness Ball workouts here on our website.
Take your time when selecting your exercises and workouts, and be sure to match them with your size, weight, age and level of fitness. If you don’t apply yourself, you will not see any benefit, and if you try to do too much at one time, you will end-up injuring yourself. So take your Fitness Ball Exercises one step at a time and you'll do just fine!