Friday, September 10, 2010

Stability Ball Workouts

                Ready for a more advanced workout? For workouts that not only build strength and increase heart rate, but also require mental concentration and balance? If your answer is yes, and you already have a base of adequate strength then maybe it is time for you to incorporate stability balls into your workout. Stability balls are a relatively new edition to the health and fitness industry, first being utilized by the physical rehab industry; they have now crossed over because of their versatility, low cost, and ease of use.

Stability balls are a great (and I emphasize great) way to help you reach your fitness goals. Most of the exercise that are done on stability balls not only put increased stress on your muscles, but they add the extra dimension of balance and concentration. Let’s take use the dumbbell bench press for an example: normally, this exercise is done on a bench lying on your back, but if we swap out the bench for a ball it requires two extra things from you. (1) With your feet now act as stabilizers, in order to keep you from falling off the ball, this means you will trigger some small muscles in your legs to keep you stable that you otherwise would just not use. (2) In an attempt to keep your torso stable you now have to contract your abs throughout the exercise; this added stress will increase your core strength.

But they are not just good for variations of existing exercises, they have an endless potential for original workouts that range from beginner to advance. Any work out done on a stability ball can be done in a relatively small space, and you don’t need a multiple balls, to do multiple exercises, just one is all you need. This article is a good example of the diversity that stabilities balls give; notice that if you did all ten exercises in this article you would have gotten a total body workout.

So next time you’re in the gym give them a try, if it’s your first experience expect to feel awkward and a little shaky, chances are your stabilizing muscle have not had to work as hard as they do now.

Here are some links for more great workouts and ideas:


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