Get on the Ball With Your Exercise Routine
August 5, 2016
July 8, 2016
Exercise balls, also known as fitness or Swiss balls, are an easy way to enhance your exercise regimen. The ball’s unstable surface causes you to use more muscle units to remain balanced and is especially beneficial in toning and strengthening your core (abdominal and back muscles).
Here are some basic exercises to get you started:
Bridging on Ball
Walk yourself as far off the ball as you feel confident you won’t fall. When your shoulder and head are the only things supported on the ball. bring your feet together and boost your hips up as high as you can, while keeping your core tight.
Crunches on Ball
Start out sitting on top of the ball with your feet on the ground. Walk your feet out 2-3 small steps and lie back. The top of the ball should reach your mid to lower back, and you should feel relativity light on your feet. Cross your arms in front of your chest or support your head with your hands as long as you are not pulling on your head. Tighten your stomach and crunch up. Slowly let yourself back down. Start with 10 reps and work your way up to two or three sets of 15.
Plank on Ball
Place your forearms on the ball, with your elbows underneath your shoulder and your feel about shoulder width to start. Make your stomach tight, hold it for 30-45 seconds repeat 2-3 times.
Hold the ball in place on a wall or a secured solid door with your lower back. Walk your feet out about a foot. Keeping your knees shoulder distance apart, squat down like you are sitting in a desk chair. Go down as far as you can comfortably (you don’t have to go any deeper than a 90-degree knee bend), pause, and stand back up. Repeat 12 times and do two to three sets.
Choosing a Ball Size
Exercise balls range in size from 55cm-75cm and should be chosen based on your height:
Under 5’4”: 55 cm
5’4”-5’11”: 65 cm
6 and above: 75 cm
George Cattell, MS, PES, COS
George Cattell, MS, PES, COS, is an exercise physiologist with LG Health’s MyHealthyLiving team. Cattell oversees LG Health’s Employee Fitness Center and offers a variety of health and wellness classes for our Community Health and Wellness services.
Education: California University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Athletic Training, M.S., Health Promotion and Injury Prevention. Certifications–National Academy of Sports Medicine Performance Enhancement Specialist; Childhood Obesity Specialist.