If you want to improve your balance and stability, look no further than the exercise ball. By providing an unstable surface, it activates muscles to help you maintain your balance. Exercise balls are particularly good for strengthening your core, but they can be used for exercises that target all areas of your body. They can also provide support for your lower back and stomach muscles.
Here is a low-impact exercise ball workout:
1. Leg raises
Sit up straight on the ball and place your hands on the ball for support. Raise your left leg and straighten your knee. When you lifted your leg as high as you can, slowly lower it to the ground. Repeat this movement on your right leg. Complete 10 repetitions.
2. Hip circles
Sit and place your hands on the ball. Keeping your shoulders straight, begin to move your hips to the left and rotate them in a circle. Start with small circles and try to make them bigger. Complete 10 repetitions then repeat in the opposite direction.
3. Spine rotation
Sit upright on the ball and raise your arms straight out in front. Keeping your torso straight, move both arms to the left while you rotate your head to the right. Bring your arms and head back to the starting position. Complete 10 repetitions. Repeat the movement 10 times in the opposite direction by moving your arms to the right and rotating your head to the left.
4. Ball squats
Place the ball against the wall and stand with your lower-mid back against the ball. Ensure that your feet are hip-width apart and far enough forward that you are leaning against the ball. Bend your knees and lower into a squat. Hold for 1 second at the bottom then push back up into a standing position. Complete 10 repetitions.
5. Hip lifts
Lay on the floor with your legs straight and calves resting on the ball. Place your arms at your sides and your hands flat on the floor. Tighten your core, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower back down. Complete 10 repetitions.
6. Back extension
Lay over the ball with your chest and abdomen resting against it and legs straight. If you find this challenging, you can place your knees on the floor. Place your hands behind your ears and lift your chest off the ball as far as you can. Slowly lower your chest back down. Complete 10 repetitions.
7. Ball crunches
Lay with your back against the ball, knees bent, and feet positioned hip-width apart. Place your hands on your thighs. Tighten your core and lift your shoulders off the ball, sliding your hands down towards your knees. Slowly lower your shoulders back down onto the ball. Complete 10 repetitions.