An Exercise Ball Can be Part of Your Workout Routine

by Jodee on November 29, 2010

An exercise ball is more than just an overgrown beach ball. They can be used in conjunction with other pieces of exercise equipment, such as the stair stepper and stepmill to help improve your fitness and overall heart health.

Using one properly will help you to improve your core strength. When you lie back on a fitness ball with your feet on the floor, your abdominal and leg muscles must contract to keep you from sliding off. You can perform certain exercises, like a crunch or a chest press while balanced on top of the ball, which takes the workout to a different level.

You will want to choose the right size exercise ball for your height. You should be able to put your feet on the floor at a 90 degree angle. When you go shopping for one, sit down on it to make sure you get one that isn’t too large or too small for you.

Once you get your exercise ball home, you can use it for several purposes. One way to think of the exercise ball is as a kind of weight bench. You can adapt exercises where you are sitting and lying down (either face up or face down) for use with the exercise ball instead of a flat bench. Doing so means that your abs, glutes and legs get a workout as well as the other muscle groups you are trying to target.

When you want to do crunches or twists, lying on top of an exercise ball means you have an extra level of difficulty. If you are new to using this piece of equipment for working out, ask a friend to act as a spotter and make sure the all doesn’t slide out from under you. Once you get some more experience using the ball, you won’t need to use a spotter.

The exercise ball can be used as way to improve your posture as well. Try sitting on it when you are watching television or using a computer. Once you feel comfortable using the exercise ball for this purpose, try lifting one foot off the floor. Be careful, though; you don’t want to fall off the ball. Tightening your abdominal muscles when you are using the exercise ball will help you to focus on this group when you work out with an exercise ball.

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