Using a dumbbell to exercise is beneficial for targeting more specific muscle groups. Incorporate dumbbell exercises with a stability ball for an added challenge and workout routine that will target the muscles of the chest, arms, abdomen and surrounding stabilizer muscles. Because the stability ball is unstable, the core will be worked harder to help maintain balance. Grab a pair of dumbbells, a stability ball and learn how to do alternating stability ball chest presses.
How To Do The Exercise
Select a pair of dumbbell weights based on your lifting ability. Although you want the exercise to be a challenge, you should avoid selecting dumbbells that are too heavy to complete the exercise with. Sit on the stability ball, as you would sit in a chair. Your feet should remain on the floor, spread hip width apart. With dumbbells in hand, slowly walk your feet forwards until your hips are off of the ball and your legs are supporting the majority of your weight. Keep your head and upper back on the stability ball. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in tight and avoid letting your hips fall down. With your palms facing outwards and your hands grasped around the dumbbell, bend both elbows upwards to create a 90-degree angle. Your biceps should be in line with your shoulders. Slowly press one dumbbell up towards the ceiling while exhaling, as you keep the other hand in place. Inhale as you slowly bring the dumbbell back down to its starting position. Repeat on the other side, alternating arms as you continue repetitions.
Benefits and Muscle Groups Worked
Alternating dumbbell chest presses target the chest muscles, but also strengthen the tricep muscles and stabilizer muscles. In addition, the core muscles are engaged to keep your body stable on the ball, which will strengthen the abdominal muscles. Because the thighs and legs are off of the ball and must support themselves throughout the exercise, the hamstring, calves and lower body muscles are being utilized.
To prevent injury, avoid lifting a dumbbell that is too heavy for you. Start with a small amount of weight and work your way up, allowing room for challenge. To prevent hyperextension or another type of injury, do not allow your elbows to lock. Not only will keeping the abdominal muscles contracted increase core strength, it will also help protect the back from any possible strain. To further prevention injury from occurring, always keep the motions slow and controlled, avoiding thrusting your body.
Once you are comfortable with the basic exercise above, you can challenge yourself further by adding or removing certain elements. Try increasing the dumbbell weight by 5 pounds, making your muscles work harder to continue repetitions. Your stability can be challenged further by reducing the space between your feet. For additional challenge, lift one leg off of the ground and hold it straight out in front of you, keeping your toe pointed upwards to the ceiling.