Exercise Ball Workouts An Introduction For Beginners

by arthurchappell

Introduction - Everything you wanted to know about the exercise ball but were afraid to ask

Working out with an exercise ball does not mean a round of golf. An exercise ball is a large elasticated ball filled with air that can be lifted, carried, and leaned over without danger of it bursting, and used in other fitness and athletic training routines. Exercise balls are often called Yoga exercise balls or stability balls too.

Stability is actually attained by careful balance as a ball being round, it will naturally want to shift and roll away, but a stable well balanced body keeps the ball in place and drapes naturally to the curvature of the ball which will give slightly under the weight of the body. It is a very tactile exercise devise with great diversity and application.

Some basic exercises

It's all about balance

Easy fitness ball exercises for beginners include lying on the floor with your feet raised onto the ball, while doing sit ups as the legs press the ball down and back against your body.  Another great exercise is using your back to press the ball against a solid wall. Now bend your knees to lower yourself and raise yourself while keeping the ball from falling.

How to get the right ball and some basic exercises

The Swiss origins of the exercise ball

Getting started and how to pick the right ball

The Swiss origins of the exercise ball

Lean over the ball so your hands and feet touch the floor, and while raising the left arm, also raise the right foot. Lower them and repeat before doing the same with your right arm and left leg. Simple eh? 

You get to feel your body transform with exercise balls but be sure to get the right one for you and the kind of stability and balance balls exercises you need to practice. Exercise balls come in various sizes so you want one that is the right size and weight for you. A general rule of thumb in selecting an exercise ball is to practice sitting on one. If your thighs are parallel to the floor then the ball is the right size for you.

You will probably need comfortable training shoes with a strong grip and mild padding to elbows and knees as you may fall off the ball in early usage. They are usually employed on bare floor rather than on gym mats or carpeting. It is however increasingly possible to use a framing cradle that will help to stabilize an exercise ball. This will help nervous beginners and also keep the exercise ball from moving when its use is accompanied by use of weights, dumb-bells, etc.

Muscle strengthening with exercise balls is nothing new. The first exercise balls were used in Switzerland in the 1960’s but it was in the 1980’s when they became popular in the USA and the rest of Europe. They are used in many gyms and in Pilate’s classes as well as in professional athletic training regimes.

Sadly, I do very little exercise either with or without such apparatus.

Arthur Chappell

Updated: 03/03/2016, arthurchappell
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