Stability balls are more than just fun to sit and bounce on—they’re a great way to boost strength, balance, and cardio endurance. Plus, they are ideal for tackling basic moves such as squats, push-ups, and planks helping your muscles get more bang for their buck. These pieces of equipment can be seen in almost every gym and fitness enthusiasts love having them at home for a quick workout as well.Whether used for practicing balance or abdominal crunches, the great range of yoga ball models is what makes them so popular. They force the abdominal and back muscles to be constantly engaged and active in order to support the spine and keep the body stable and balanced. Maintaining balance on an unstable surface engages different muscles and makes the exercise harder to perform without any additional weight.In order to get the most out of your yoga ball exercises, choosing a ball in the right size is important. They usually come in three diameters based on the user’s height:
- 55 cm for people between 1.50m and 1.62m;
- 65 cm for people between 1.62m and 1.70m;
- 75 cm for people between 1.80m and 2m.
A good rule of thumb for finding the right yoga ball is to sit on it and make sure your hips and knees are at right angles with the floor. If your hips are way below your knees, you need a bigger ball. If your hips are way above your knees, a smaller ball would suit you best. Here are some yoga ball exercise ideas for your next training session.
Lie facedown on the ball with your hands and feet touching the floor. Walk the hands out until your shins are resting on the ball and your torso is in a flat push-up position. Lower the torso towards the floor until the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Return to the up push-up position.
This exercise works the arms and the legs at the same time. Do a traditional squat while holding the exercise ball with the arms extended overhead. Adding weight while maintaining the torso in an upright position engages the shoulders and deltoid muscles.
Sit on the ball and roll out till the navel is in the middle of the ball. If positioned correctly, your abs may shake even before starting the exercise. With the hands to the sides of your head while looking at the ceiling, lift your shoulder blades only, hold and return to the starting position.
Sit on the ball holding a pair of dumbbells and roll out till your head and upper back are supported on the ball. From this position, hold the dumbbells at chest-height, pressing your arms straight up over your chest, extending your elbows fully. Reverse the movement and lower the dumbbells back toward your chest.
Try sitting on the ball on your lower back and against a wall corner and lift one leg. To increase the difficulty level, try not to touch the wall with the ball or you can also cross one leg over the other.
Do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise for best results.