Exercise balls are beneficial for strengthening the core muscles. Learn how to do sit-ups and other exercises with an exercise ball.
The most significant advantage of the exercise ball is this: It helps you train your pelvic, back, and abdominal muscles, often referred to as the core. Core exercises are essential for strengthening and stabilizing the whole body.
These exercises for a training ball are ranked from the simplest to the most challenging. It may be helpful to do some of them for the first time under the supervision of a physiotherapist or certified athletic trainer to make sure you are using the proper form.
Surprisingly, just sitting on a gym ball is training. It requires subtle but constant commitment from the core muscles to remain balanced and centered on the ball. Place your feet on the floor and sit on it for 30 minutes.
Remember that beginners may find it easier to balance on a training ball that is a little empty of air.
- Sit on the exercise ball.
- Lift a heel while keeping your toes on the floor. (To increase the effectiveness of this exercise, lift your entire foot off the floor.)
- Hold the position 1-2 seconds and put your foot down again. Switch to the other side. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Sit-ups on the ground are already suitable for building your core, but the added challenge of doing them on a fitness ball can make them even more effective. Remember that this exercise and the next one are done first under the supervision of a physiotherapist or trainer.
- Have your feet on the floor sitting on the ball.
- Have your arms crossed over your chest or hips.
- Sit back at a 45-degree angle, bend your hips and lift yourself on your toes without moving your feet.
Pull yourself up again in a sitting position without lifting your feet. Repeat five times.
Ball leg lifter
Just like with the previous exercise, this exercise takes a traditional core-building activity (leg lift) and increases the effect:
- Sit in front of the ball.
- Roll back so that your head and shoulders rest on the ball, but your upper body and hips are in the air. Raise yourself until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Straighten one leg off the floor until it is level with the rest of the body. Hold 10 seconds, then lower your leg.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times.