Top Exercises for Fitness Ball Training [HOME WORKOUT]
Personally, I really like training with barbells. I find that they are a very versatile tool for training and at the end of the day you can pack on a bunch of weight and hit most of your goals with one device. At the same time, they can get a little boring.
The same tasks over and over again – no matter the device or medium can get boring. Additionally, a barbell is very rigid. When we look at the overall benefits of having a complete workout program we cannot undermine the importance of having a workout program that emphasizes balance.
Balance in the practical setting of literally training in an unstable environment, but also balance in the sense that your workout program features all sorts of fitness devices.
For this reason, taking a step back and looking at your workout program can be a very good way to monitor progress and check if there is anything you can do to improve your training. When it comes to recovery, there really is no better workout tool than a fitness ball.
The Benefits of A Fitness Ball
Simple devices will always have a massive benefit over the more complex or specific tools for training. Take for example a medicine ball. It is basically just dead weight that can be manipulated in so many ways. Using a fitness ball will carry much of the same benefits, and, with a lower cost.
Here are the main benefits of having a fitness ball:
Fitness Balls can be used for almost any workout situation you need. They can be used in a setting to train explosive athletes power, or can also be used to train balance and stability in a yoga trainer. The versatility of a fitness ball will help anyone to experience huge benefits.
They Are Cheap
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why a lot of people have a fitness ball in their home studio. When you combine the high versatility with the very low cost you have a fitness tool that can be used in almost any setting.
They Train Balance
Far too many people train for strength and lack the stability and control to be a powerful athlete. At the end of the day, you always need to have the happy balance between strength and power. Without the core strength required to push yourself further, you will not be able to train at a high intensity. After all, the core is the roots of your strength.
Using a fitness ball for your training will help to improve this core strength and could allow for the best possible translation of strength and power.
5 Best Exercises of A Fitness Ball
One of my personal favourite exercises on a fitness ball. This exercise is simple and effect – perfect for targeting the quads and core. You will place the ball behind you on a wall and press your low back into the ball to maintain its position. With a neutral posture and tight core, you will lower yourself into a squat position (while pushing into the ball) and then raise out of the bottom position.
In this way you will develop quad strength, core strength and the instability of the ball will allow you to strengthen the ankles and knees.
When it comes to planking on an unstable surface you should always make sure you have a base-level of strength. If you can hold a tight plank for 60 seconds you should have enough strength to work into a plank on a medicine ball.
Here you will place your hands on the ground and feet on the ball. This could take time to find the right position but when you do all the ques for a traditional plank are the same – core tight, glutes on, neck neutral – hold for as long as you can or until form breaks down.
Exercises like this should have long rest periods between working sets to ensure you always have the highest possible quality of exercise.
Now this one is really difficult so don’t be turned off if you can’t do it right away. Although it looks easy you will need to have a deep level of strength in the glutes and hamstrings will have a very tight and strong core.
Here you will lie on your back and place your heels on the ball. Trying to keep a relatively straight line, tight core and strong foundation you will curl your hamstrings and bring the ball closer to your body. To start, you will need to keep your reps low and aim for high-quality training.
Hands down one of the most ignored exercises we have today. Many people experience back pain and I’d argue this is the case because they are weak and unstable in extension at the hip.
This exercise is simple but very important. You will place the ball on your mid-to-low abdomen and with your feet planted you should aim to create a straight line from your head to toes. You can either hold this exercise eccentrically or you can use concentric rep schemes but always do your best to maintain a high quality of movement.
This is a building-block exercise from the plank. In the same position as a plank, you will use your core and leg strength to curl the fitness ball under your body. This will contract the muscles of the lower core and force your back to become stable and strong in the movement.
This will also become a great exercise for developing strong shoulders and good rotator cuff strength.
Fitness Ball – A Forgotten Tool of Training
Many people do not like the idea of training with a fitness ball because they believe it to be a silly device or perhaps that it looks like a tool that a girl would use.
To be honest, if you are ever to grow stronger and balance your body you should keep your mind open to all fitness tools. The fitness ball is a highly versatile tool for training that requires great core strength and power.
If you are looking to improve your strength in some of your bigger lifts, or you are just in the market for a great home-workout tool you should be sure to check out a fitness ball.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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