Head to the basement and dust off that exercise ball that you have been “meaning to get to”. It’s time to put it back to good use! (It’s probably sitting on top of your Ab roller, pile of Paper Towels that you bought on sale and the do dad that you brought in from the garage to fix and haven’t gone to the hardware store to pick up the missing bolts…for the last 2 years. (OK, so that’s where MY ball was…don’t judge me, I’m not starring on Hoarders yet). Don’t underestimate ball training, the exercise ball requires more strength, balance and coordination than most realize.
Perform 20 repititions on each exercise and cycle through the group of exercises 5 times. For exercises that alternate sides, do 10 repititions per side.
- Weighted Knee Raise
- 45 Degree Leg Extension
- Reverse Hyperextension
- Russian Twists
- Glute Bridge
- Exercise balls should be purchased according to your body height and should be inflated to the point that it becomes firm, not hard
- When sitting on the ball, your hips and knees should be bent at approximately 90 degrees
Detailed desription of the exercises:
Weighted Knee Raise – Holding a 20lb weight in each hand, (Adjust the weight for your level of skill and ability), sit on top of the exercise ball. Hold the weights to your sides as if you were holding a briefcase and raise the knee on your right leg about 3 inches off of the floor. Repeat with the same leg until your reps are complete before changing legs. Aim to keep your inner core activated throughout the movement (Pull your belly button to your spine).
45 Degree Leg Extension – Holding a 20lb weight in each hand, (Adjust the weight for your level of skill and ability), sit on top of the exercise ball. Hold the weights to your sides as if you were holding a briefcase and slowly extend, (straighten) your right leg out on a 45 degree angle to your body. Repeat with the same leg until your reps are complete before changing legs. Aim to keep your inner core activated throughout the movement (Pull your belly button to your spine).
Back Extension (Superman) – Lay on your belly across the ball and brace your feet against a wall for support. Drape your torso over the peak of the ball placing your hands behind your ears. (Your body should be in a “V” position at this point). Lengthen your spine as you raise your torso off the ball making a straight line with your body. Return to the starting position and repeat. (Keep your butt muscles contracted to protect your back)
Russian Twists – Lie on the ball so that your shoulder blades rest on the highest part of the ball. Keep your feet in front and flat on the floor for support. Extend your arms straight out in front of your body and over your waist then clasp your hands together. (I prefer doing this with a medicine ball or dumbell but suggest that you start smaller to ensure that you get the movement correctly). Slightly raise your torso so that your shoulder blades come off of the ball and twist your torso and arms to the left and then to the right.
Glute Bridge – Lay on the floor with your feet planted flat on top of the ball with your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your pelvis from the floor to the ceiling until your body is only supported by your shoulders and feet ith your torso in a straight line with your knees. Initiate this movement from your butt.