How to Use an Exercise Ball
You've noticed that everyone from your average gym dweller to professional athletes are using them, and it's got you wondering if you too could benefit from learning how to use an exercise ball. When done properly exercise balls are a great way to strengthen your core muscles and give your regular workout a challenging boost. Done incorrectly however an exercise ball can cause more harm than good. So how do you use an exercise ball and why is it so popular? Learning the basics of working out with an exercise ball is simple, although it may take a little time to master. By working in as little as 30 minutes of the exercise ball into your daily routine, you'll have challenged your core group of muscles, improved your balance and increased your body's flexibility.
What you'll need to use an exercise ball:
- An exercise ball.
- A mirror.
- A chair, wall or something to support yourself.
- A clear and open space.
- Buy the ball. It may seem like common sense to start off with buying an exercise ball, but it's important to buy one that will work best with your height. If you're 5'4” or under you'll want to invest in a ball that is 55cm, 65cm for guys 5'5” to 5'11” and for the big guys over 5'11” buying a 71 cm ball will likely be the best to avoid straining the spine.
- Sit properly on the ball. Before attempting to perform any of your usual workout while using the ball, it is important to learn the correct sitting posture. With your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight, balance on the ball. Be sure to keep your knees at a 90 degree angle at all times.
- Use the ball when lifting weights. You can lift weights as you normally would if you were sitting on an a bench. While you're lifting weights, you will be using your core muscles in an effort to continue staying in balance. Don't go all out at first, try using lighter weights than normal, and work your way up to what you would usually train with as you grow more accustomed to using the ball.
- Crunches. Yet another option when learning how to use an exercise ball, is performing abdominal exercises. Correctly done an exercise ball will allow you to work out your abdomen without straining your back.
- The best and safest way to learn how to use an exercise ball is with the guidance of a certified personal trainer.
- When first using the exercise ball, keep the back of a chair nearby, stay close to a wall, or sit anywhere you can easily hold onto something if you lose your balance.
- To reduce the risk of injury, keep the floor clear of debris in the event that you should slip from the ball.