Sep 012010

The great thing about fitness ball workouts is how they can be used in fitness classes and just as easily be done right at home. A fitness ball is one of the lowest cost pieces of fitness equipment and adds tremendous flexibility to your workouts.

You may have already ran to the store and bought an exercise ball and now it sits there in your home. You are trying to figure out what your next step should be. Here are a few great fitness ball exercises to get you started exploring the fun of getting fit.

Elevated Push-ups – If you want to develop your chest this is a great exercise. Place your feet and ankles up on the exercise ball and assume a standard push-up position with your hands on the floor. You perform a standard push-up but with the added resistance and balance required by using the exercise ball.

Balanced Push-ups – If the elevated push-up is too difficult it is time to turn around. Keep your toes on the floor and place your hands on the top of the ball. Do your push-ups from this position. You will discover the push-up requires less arm strength but greater balance.

Back Extensions – To improve the strength of your lower back. Rest your stomach across the exercise ball with your shoulders extending forward beyond the surface of the ball. While keeping your back straight bring your shoulders down bending lightly at the waist, then straighten again by using the power of your back.

Crunches – Abdominal Power – Your fitness ball workouts can include several varieties of crunches to improve your core power. The first is to lay on your back on the floor. Put your feet and lower legs on the fitness ball, then proceed to do ab crunches by rolling your head and shoulders up off the floor. Another crunch is the core crunch. Kneel on down facing the fitness ball placing your lower arms and wrists on the ball. Press your elbows and wrists deeply into the ball by crunching your abdominal muscles. A final variety of ab crunch is to keep your feet on the floor, sit with your buttocks and hips on the ball, and then lean back. Perform your ab crunches from this position. It requires more muscles to maintain balance increasing the effectiveness of the exercise.

Superman – Build Core Strength – The superman is one of the classic moves in fitness ball workouts. Keeping your toes on the floor, place your hips on the ball. Reach above and ahead of yourself in the position of superman flying. Work on holding the position and balance using your back muscles and abs. It looks easy, but is much harder than it appears.

This is just a small sampling of the exercises you can included in fitness ball workouts. You can target almost any body part using your fitness ball, and improve your overall fitness. While a ball may be the simplest form of exercise equipment it can be one of the most effective, too.

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