The exercise ball which is also know as the fitness ball is one of the greatest tools for strengthening your core muscles, as the ball involves performing a range of core exercises. The exercise ball allows you to reach the hard to get muscles as well as improving your balance and overall coordination.
The first thing you must consider before even using the fitness ball is to find the right size ball for you. Exercise balls are measured according to their diameter. Below we provide you with a general guideline in finding the correct exercise ball for you.
When sitting upright on the exercise ball:
o You should have an even weight distribution where your feet are placed flat on the floor.
o You should have an angle of 90 degrees at your hips and knees where your knees should be level or slightly lower than your pelvis.
o You should have a vertical line running from your pelvis, shoulders and ears. Your body should be perfectly upright on the exercise ball and to readjust yourself just bounce lightly up and down on the exercise ball.
As a guideline you should select a fitness ball based on your height. Factors that can also depend on what ball you choose is how flexible the exercise ball is as well as your weight.
o 45 cm exercise ball – person 5 foot and under
o 55 cm exercise ball – person 5’1″ – 5’8″
o 65 cm exercise ball – person 5’9″ – 6’2″
o 75 cm exercise ball – person 6’3″ – 6’7″
o 85 cm exercise ball – person 6’8″ and taller
If your weight is much larger than average for your height you can consider trying the next size up exercise ball as remember when sitting on the ball it will compress down more. As the exercise ball has regular usage you will find that it will require further inflation. You don’t want to excessively inflate the exercise ball as this may mean it will increase the difficulty of balancing and stabilizing as the contact area decreases.
Here are some tips for you when using your exercise ball:
o Give yourself a large amount of workout space as you perform your exercises.
o Ensure that you warm up all muscle groups before performing any type of exercise on your fitness ball.
o When exercising, focus your eyes on a fixed point and you will find that your balance will be improved.
o Inhale during the easiest part of the exercise and exhale during the hardest part of the exercise.
o After you finish exercising ensure you cool down with a good stretch.
If you really want to get the results you need from your exercise ball purchase the “Great Body Ball Handbook” at http://www.unbeatablefitness.com.au and you will not need another guideline again. Just to start you thinking on what type of exercises you can perform we will give you a general outline.
o The exercise ball allows you to work with dumbbells when performing your exercises. For example rather than using a bench as your support, you can use the exercise ball and perform for example dumbbell presses targeting your chest region. Not only do you have to worry about getting the dumbbells up, but keeping yourself stable on the exercise ball. This will lead to improvements in your core muscles around the stomach area.
o Obviously one of the most popular activities on the exercise ball is the crunch for your abdominal region. The fitness ball allows you to target all parts of your abs region and the fact that your are actually stabilizing yourself on the ball when doing your repetitions means that you are particularly hitting your external obliques – the muscles running down either side of your trunk.
There are so many different muscles and activities that can be undertaken on the fitness ball and once you create your workout program, we guarantee that you will be targeting muscles that you never knew you had.