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More than a Healthy Diet — Exercise using Exercise Ball

A healthy diet is only one part of living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is just as important as eating right. It is not necessary to join a gym or have a large workout area at home. There are many videos, books and sites online that show you how to get a great workout at home with very little cost or space. Exercises like push up and sit ups are well known, but can be difficult for people with wrist or lower back problems. More and more personal trainers and coaches are using exercise balls for added challenge and to avoid injury.

Here is a simple workout that only takes up a few feet of space and is great to do in the morning before breakfast. It will help to work up an appetite and get you charged for the day. Notice that the exercises work from upper body to lower body, giving each side a rest. This allows for a shorter overall workout since you don’t need to take time to rest between sets.

Exercise Ball Push Up

  • Exercise Ball Push Up
  1. Lie with your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs.
  2. Pull your navel in toward your spine, bending your elbows.
  3. Lower your upper body to the floor. Hold this position for three seconds, and then push up so your elbows are straight but not locked. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged.
  4. Start with 5 reps, working up to 15. Once you’ve mastered 15 reps, rest for one minute and then do a second set.

Exercise Ball Squat

  • Exercise Ball Squat
  1. Place an exercise ball between the wall and the curve of your lower back.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and lower 5 to 10 inches, keeping your shoulders level and your hips square. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then stand back up.
  4. Start with 5 reps and work up to 12. Rest for 30 seconds and do another set.

Ball Pass

  • Ball Pass
  1. Lie on your back holding an exercise ball and lift your feet so your shins are parallel to the floor.
  2. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders, and place the ball between your legs.
  3. Now lower your legs and reach your arms back.
  4. Come back up and grab the ball.
  5. Continue to pass the ball back and forth from your hands to your legs 10 to 12 times.

Overhead Squat with Ball

  • Overhead Squat with Ball
  1. Grab an exercise ball and stand with your legs hip-width apart.
  2. Raise the ball over your head, your arms extended and close to your ears.
  3. Now squat down, keeping the weight in your heels and your arms extended.
  4. Hold the squat for one count, then come back up.
  5. Keep your arms lifted as you do 12 to 15 squats.

Standing Side-Splits

  • Standing Side-Splits
  1. Stand with feet together about a foot behind a stability ball.
  2. Bend from the hips, placing hands on ball.
  3. Keeping torso extended and abs and glutes tight, raise left leg behind you until it’s parallel to the floor.
  4. Keep your foot flexed and your inner thigh facing the floor.
  5. Rotate your torso to the left and extend left arm overhead.
  6. Turn head to gaze at left hand.
  7. Hold for 3 counts.
  8. Lower and return to starting position
  9. Repeat on opposite leg.

Plank Pike-Up

  • Plank Pike-Up
  1. Take an exercise ball and lie on top of it with your shins on the ball and your palms on the floor under your shoulders.
  2. Now use your abs and legs, rolling the ball to your middle, lifting your hips and keeping your head down between your arms. (Your body should be in an inverted “V” shape.)
  3. Hold here for 1 count and then roll back to the start.
  4. Do 10-12 reps. Be sure to pull your abs in and keep your head even with your spine as you move in and out of the “V”.

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