In the following article you'll learn about 10 Bender Ball Exercise Ideas that will help you get in great shape. The Bender Ball is a nine-inch inflatable ball made of plastic that is used to perform a variety of Pilates-style exercises for the abdominal muscles. Before beginning any new exercise routine, it's important to see your doctor for a check-up and find out if you're healthy enough to start working with the Bender Ball. A non-slip surface is recommended for exercising with this product. The ball needs to stay in place so that constant readjustment is avoided.
The Bender Ball is a type of "mini-ball" similar to those personal trainers and fitness instructors have used for years. It's inexpensive but very effective. The smaller ball gets better results than its larger counterparts because it fits into the small of the back. The abdominal workout that you will receive from this ball is 400 percent more effective than crunches alone. There is also a range of motion and extension in the abs area working with this piece of equipment that doesn't come from other exercises. By helping relax the muscles that you want to avoid training and using the muscles you want to focus on, the workout is much better.
- Start by sitting on the floor and placing the Bender Ball under your lower back. This will create the more effective abdominal workout by allowing a great range of movement. It also relieves pressure on the lower back.
- Recline on the ball. Then proceed to do crunches like you would if you were lying on the floor. The ball isolates the muscles you want to work by making you focus on maintaining your balance on the ball.
- Try placing the Bender ball under your hips. This will create a different range of motion when doing flutter kicks. You can also do leg raises in this position.
- Place the ball between the knees for other types of exercises. From this position you can do knee tucks. Try twisting the knees to work the side muscles.
- Place the ball between your ankles. You can do leg lifts that will work the lower abdominal muscles.
- Change the leverage. By changing the leverage of the ball, you can change the intensity of your workout. This can also be accomplished by slightly inflating or deflating the ball.
- Extend further back on the ball. This will also increase the intensity of your workout. The muscles get a greater extension, therefore, creating better workout.
- Keep a chart of the progress you've made. Write down the type of exercise you did, the duration, and what you felt like afterwards. This will mark the exercises and intensity that best suits you.
- Use a combination of exercises. The selective stabilization of each exercise, when combined, can rev up the intensity. You'll target the muscles of the upper abs, the sides and those lower abs that are hard to reach.
- Be consistent with the workouts. Use the Bender Ball at least three times a week to see results.
When beginning your workout routine with the Bender Ball, create goals that are realistic and try to stick to them. Go easy at the start and work up to a more intense routine. There are three levels: the first is for beginners and is less than three minutes; the second is for intermediate exercisers and is about 5 minutes long; and the final stage is for the advanced and lasts for 6 minutes. Choose the intensity you feel comfortable with.
By strengthening the abdominal area, you are building up back muscles, which helps your body become stronger and your posture get better. Just by using the Bender Ball three times a week you'll see more defined abs and a stronger core. The best part is you don't have to spend hours working at it. All it takes is ten or fifteen minutes of your day and you'll get a great abdominal workout.