Jackie Wright – A Total Body Stability Ball Workout
August 20, 2009
One of the best fitness tools to add to your fitness tool box is a stability ball. The stability ball challenges the core muscles and adds variety to any exercise program. For three weeks, we will feature a stability ball workout that can be performed at your fitness studio/health club or at home. Below are a few tips to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of stability ball training followed by two upper body exercises performed on the stability ball. As always, consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Stability Ball Tips
• Choose a stability ball of the correct size. When sitting on the ball, your knees should form a 90 degree angle. Balls come in a variety of sizes; however, the most common are 55cm and 65cm.
• Make certain the ball is properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Keep the ball away from sharp objects to avoid damaging/bursting the ball.
• Store the ball away from heating elements as the balls can be flammable.
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• Check the ball regularly for any defects and to make certain it is properly inflated as it will begin to deflate with regular use.
• Purchase good quality, well made balls that are burst resistant and come with a pump.
Stability Ball-Upper Body Exercises
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press – Anterior/Medial Deltoids/Core
• Start with a ball of the correct size and choose a set of dumbbells that will fatigue the shoulders within 8-12 repetitions. Note: The anterior/medial deltoids are small muscles which fatigue quickly. Consequently, you may want to choose light-moderate dumbbells for this exercise.
• Sit on the stability ball with the shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, the navel pulled toward the spine and the feet on the floor shoulder width apart.
• Bring the arms to shoulder height with the arms flexed 90 degrees at the elbow joint, palms facing forward and the neck in neutral.
• Press the arms over the head until the arms are fully extended so that the dumbbells are almost touching ends.
• Then, return to the beginning position.
• Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, two to three times per week.
Plank – Shoulder Girdle Muscles/Core
• Choose a ball of the correct size and place your hands on top of the ball, hands directly underneath the shoulder joint, with the legs staggered, right leg closest to the ball, flexed at the knee and torso hinged from the hip joint with the back flat and the left leg straight, heel down.
• Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled in deeply to the spine.
• Extend the right leg back in line with the left leg as you press the body weight directly down into the ball creating a plank position, heels lifted, on the balls of the feet.
• Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times, three to four times per week.
• This is a very challenging exercise. Therefore, practice it to perfection on the floor without the ball prior to attempting it from the ball.
– Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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