Exercise Ball Workout Plan
by: Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
The exercise ball is a great tool to use as part of your workouts. It introduces instability which forces your body to recruit more muscles to stabilize your joints, which improves your sense of balance and proprioception. It is also a useful piece of equipment because you can use at home in a small amount of space. Even if you're at the gym, you can grab a ball, set yourself up in the corner and go through a terrific workout while everyone else is fighting over the machines.
In this article, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite exercise ball workout plans. I've used this workout with hundreds of my own personal clients and I'm sure you'll find it highly useful as well.
So here we go...
5-10 minutes light cardio or dynamic movement (ie. Y squats, lunge walks, stairs, etc...)
1. Push Up Roll-ins
With your hands on the floor and feet on the exercise ball, perform a push-up and then roll the ball in towards your chest. Ensure that your hips stay at the same level as your shoulders throughout the movement, forcing you to brace your abdominals.
2. Supine Ball Roll-ins
Lying on your back with your heels on the ball, squeeze your glutes so that you raise your hips off the floor. With your hips raised for the entire duration of the exercise, pull the ball the in towards your bum. You should your hamstrings doing the work here.
3. Exercise Ball Plank Roll-outs
Position yourself in a plank position with your forearms on the ball and toes on the floor. Raise your hips so they are at the height of your shoulders. Brace your core and now roll the ball forward so that your arms extend and pull the ball back in towards you. Be sure that only your arms move. The rest of your body should be as still as possible!
4. Exercise Ball Guided Squats
Position the ball against the wall so that you can stand against it with the small of your back. Take a step forward so that your feet are slightly in front of you and shoulder-width apart. You can hold dumbbells in your hands if you want. Now, lower your body into a squat ensuring that your thighs go no further than parallel to the floor. Push up so that your body goes back to standing.
Repeat each of these exercises for 30 seconds. Take no rest between each exercise so that you move from one to the next. This is called circuit training. Once you've completed all 4 exercises, take 1-2 minutes and then repeat for a total of 3 sets. This exercise ball workout should take you no longer than 15-20 minutes!
This workout can be done 3-4 times per week with at least 24 hours rest between each workout.
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