Stability balls are great workouts on so many levels. Whether you are a beginner just starting out or an advanced athlete, this is for you because there are so many modifications you can toss in for progressions.
But, before you get started I want you to know and understand the benefits of using a stability ball!
Let’s first talk about the PSOAS pronounced, “So AS.” The PSOAS is the epitome of the core.
You can not actually see the PSOAS because they are not superficial muscles like the abdominals.
So, when you look at the core you are looking at the spine and the muscles closest to it which is the PSOAS.
It also sits on our center of gravity. This is the key in terms of movement. The basic function is walking.
Putting one foot in front of the other. A lot of what we do from day to day is throw our center of gravity around.
Every move you make, every step you take, every twist, turn and bend involves the center of gravity and focus is key!
When selecting the proper size keep in mind how you are positioned when you are seated on top of the ball.
Your thighs should be parallel to the ceiling when sitting on top of the ball.
I want you to remember that throughout these movements that breathing is a very important tool you will will need to incorporate!
Breathing will help you tremendously by getting more oxygen to the muscles and preventing you from experiencing dizziness so be
sure to EXHALE on the hardest part of the movement. EXHALE on the exertion in other words.
The following exercises are designed to help you strengthen your core and core movement system of the posterior chain.
Pay careful attention to form and technique as this will help keep you injury free and continue to get results faster in the way of strength and endurance.
The squat when performed correctly is the king of all exercises for the lower body.
Using the stability ball for these is genius for anyone with back or knee issues or are unable to perform a squat with good form.
Start in a standing position and as you descent into a squat be sure your knees are lined p directly over the feet and do not pass the 2nd and 3rd toe.
Your back should be pressed firmly against the ball and your body should not be bending forward. You must stay upright.
When coming back up, press your heels into the floor vs the balls of your feet. Pressing through the balls of the feet will place unnecessary stress on the knees. Who needs that? Right? Right!
When you get back to the original starting point (standing) do not lock the knees out. Keep the knees soft.
Perform 10 slow repetitions for 2 rounds.
**STRETCH THE QUADRICEPS AFTER COMPLETING THIS EXERCISE.
PERFORM THIS EXERCISE WITH DUMBELLS OR A BARBELL
REGRESSION: DON'T GO DOWN AS FAR. START WITH 5 REPS AND WORK UP.
Similar to the plank this is another great exercise for strengthening the
core and develop joint stability in the shoulders. Hold for :30 and work up to one minute.
Be sure your shoulders are lined up directly above the elbows and hands are relaxed. It's okay to hold your hands together as long as they aren't clinched in a tight position. You want the energy running through your core and not your hands.
Try to not dump down with your chest. Keep the elbows pressed into the ball the avoid dumping the chest downward toward the ball.
Keep your quads, glutes and abs as tight as possible throughout this exercise and breathe normally.
Be sure your pelvic is tilted "under" to engage more of your core and take some stress off the spine.
If you experience any back pain you can lift your hips up a little higher to take some of the stress off. If you still experience back pain after that, back out of the exercise all together.
You can do these 3-4 times a week. With consistency you will get stronger and possibly experience less back pain in the process.
LIFT ONE LEG UP AT A TIME.
PERFORM THIS EXERCISE ON THE FLOOR OR ELEVATED PLATFORM TO START OUT.
This is a great joint stability and core strengthener and slightly more challenging simply because you are using A LOT of your core just to stay on the ball. If you wobble, no problem! WOBBLE all you want. Just
FIGHT THE CORE TO STAY ON THE BALL.
If you still have problems, reverse this exercise by placing your hands on the ball and your feet on
Your goal on this one is
to hold for :30 or longer.
Be sure your shoulders are lined up directly
If you experience low back pain lift your hips up to reduce the stress.
TAP RIGHT FOOT DOWN ON THE FLOOR AND COME BACK UP PLACING IT BACK ON THE BALL. REPEAT SAME MOVEMENT WITH THE LEFT.
PERFORM THIS MOVEMENT ON THE FLOOR OR ON A PLATFORM. IF YOU HAVE WRIST PROBLEMS REFER TO THE ISO AB.
Here is a GREAT simple but difficult to master move.
As you come up into the crunch, tilt the pelvic UP to really get deep in the core and this is where you EXHALE FORCEFULLY AS YOUR PELVIC TILTS UP!!
Place your fingertips behind the ears to avoid pulling on your neck.
If you are pressing down with the feet just remember to press through your heels to avoid stress on the knees.
Perform 10-15 Crunches for 2-3 rounds EXHALING AT THE TOP OF THE MOVE.
You can perform this movement 3-4 days a week
HOLD A DUMBELL BETWEEN YOUR HANDS AND PLACE OVER YOUR CHEST TO ADD A LITTLE TENSION TO THIS EXERCISE.
PERFORM THIS MOVEMENT ON THE FLOOR.
Start seated on the floor with your back against the ball and feet hip width apart.
Gently lift the hips up with
Squeeeeeeze like a mad crazy woman at the top of the move!
Be sure and push through the heels instead of the ball of the foot to avoid stress to the knees.
Okay to place your hands across your chest.
Perform 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 rounds EXHALING AT THE TOP OF THE MOVE.
PLACE A BARBELL ACROSS YOUR HIPS
PERFORM THIS MOVEMENT ON THE FLOOR
This is a great exercise for the frontal deltoid (shoulder). If you are wanting a nice streamline to the arms and shoulders keep your repetitions between 15-25 for 1-2 sets. If you feel like you would like to add a little more size then your repetitions should be between 8-12 for about 2-3 sets. Exhale when dumbells come up.
Here is one for the back of the arm (tricep) that tones up the back of the arm really well. You can combine these with any shoulder work for an extra bonus. For toning stick to 15-25 reps for 1-2 sets. For more size add some weight and perform 8-12 reps. Great to combine these exercises with any shoulder and chest work. Exhale when arms are straight back.
I love this one! It's great for toning and building the back. When you pull anything you involve your biceps so this is a great exercise to combine with biceps. Also, since this is a multi joint movement you will be able to use more weight. For toning, 15-25 reps for 1-2 rounds. For building, 8-12 reps for 3-4 rounds. Exhale at the top of the move.
There are three head to the shoulder; front side and rear. This is a basic move that hits all three heads. Abs stay tight as usual on this one along with the other exercises. I do these seated to protect my back. For toning perform 15-25 reps for 1-2 rounds. For building, 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets. Exhale at the top of the move.
This mimicks the bench press. You can also do these with a barbell or anything relatively heavy that will challenge you. For toning, perform 15-25 reps for 1-2 rounds. For strength and a little more size use more weight and keep your reps between 8-12. Exhale at the top of the move.
Some people call this the low plank, however, National Academy of Sports Medicine calls it the ISO AB. This is a great stabilization exercise you can do every day. Your goal is to hold this for :30 or more. I've trained people in the past who could hold this position for 5 minutes without difficulty. Be sure to line your shoulders up directly over the elbows. Feet can be wider apart for simplicity. Exhale normally. Keep quads abs and glutes TIGHT!!