An exercise ball is a must have if you want to add some excitement to your workout routine. These large vinyl balls can help to stretch your body before starting your workouts. They can also be part of the workout, depending on how you use them. The balls are excellent for strength training and building your stamina. The good thing about the exercise or swiss ball is that you can always spice things up to get you motivated. Below are 8 simple ways to do so.
Exercises that you can do with an Exercise Ball
1. Supine Bridges
Sit on the exercise ball with your hands crossed on your chest and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Then, slowly move forward and let the ball roll until it supports your shoulders and head. As you do so, make sure that you place your weight on the ball. Position yourself in such a way that your knees, shoulders, and hips form a straight line and a flat tabletop. This will be your starting position. Slowly lift your hips up and down without moving the ball. You can repeat these movements at least 10 times before taking a rest.
2. Plank Pike up
Lie down flat with your shins lightly placed on the surface and your palms firmly placed on the ground. As you try to maintain your balance and prevent the ball from slipping, use your abs to move your legs and hips forward. Your body should form an inverted v with the upper side of your feet touching the ball and your head facing down in between your arms. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise at least 8 times.
3. Weight Press
This is one of those easy swiss ball exercises. Lie on your back with your heels and thighs on the exercise ball. Then, grab a couple of light weights or dumbbells in both hands. Lift your forearms straight with your palms looking forward. This will be your start position. Hold the ball in place and slowly lift the weights. As you go up, you should exhale and extend your hands straight above your shoulders. Hold the position for a second or two and go back to the starting stance. Try to do at least 10 counts. As a tip, you should lie down on a mat as you do this exercise. This is because doing so will reduce the strain on your elbows.
For this exercise, you will have to be next to a wall. Place the exercise ball between the wall and your lower lumbar. Put your feet shoulder width apart and a few inches in front of you. Then go down and bend your knees until they form a 90-degree angle with the calves. As you do this, press your back against the ball so that it doesn’t slip off. Hold that position for about 2 seconds and go back up. As you do that, make sure that you press your back against the ball. Repeat the movement 8 times.
5. Deep Crunch or Ball Pass
Sit on an exercise mat with the exercise ball in front of you. Pick it up and lay down flat with your arms straight while holding the ball. As you maintain that position, lift your legs up until your shins are parallel to the floor. Then, lift yourself using your abs and place the ball in between your legs. Don’t drop your shins, let your legs stay raised and go back down without the ball. Then, come back up a get a hold of the ball while maintaining the raised shin position. Go back down while holding the ball. Repeat this movement. Since this exercise can be quite demanding, start by doing 6 and then slowly increase the count as you get more comfortable.
This exercise is almost similar to the plank pike up. The only difference is in the placement of the ball and movements. Here, you place the exercise ball directly under your stomach. Then, make sure that your palms and feet touch the floor. Slowly move your palms forward to a plank position. As you do this, your ankles should rest on the exercise ball. Hold this position for about 2 seconds and return to the starting stance. Make sure that you pause to catch your breath in between sets since the ball tends to press on your stomach a lot. You can do 6 repetitions for this exercise.
7. Frog Jump
To do this exercise, stand a few inches behind the ball. Then, get into the squat position with your feet hip-width apart and your toes facing the sides. Go ahead and grab the ball from both sides. Since you are doing a frog jump, you want to go as high as possible. To do this effectively, you have to tuck in your elbows in between your thighs. Then, push yourself off the ground as you lift the exercise ball above your head. You can do 5 repetitions of this exercise for maximum effect.
Lie on the ball with your legs straight and your palms touching the ground. Make sure that the ball rests on your thighs so that you can easily go down and come back up. Kindly note that as you go down you should try as much as possible to keep your ears far from the shoulders. As you do the push-ups, hold the ball in place so that you don’t slip up. You can do between 8 to 10 repetitions.
The above exercises add some fun and versatility to your exercise routine. What makes these workouts so great is that they exercise the entire body. You can also do them anywhere as long as you have an exercise mat and a ball.