Performing chest flies using a dumbbell on its own is difficult enough, but incorporating a stability ball into the mix can make the exercise even more challenging. A stability ball is a large, over-sized piece of exercise equipment which can be used to increase the intensity of a number of different exercises. Performing an exercise on a stability ball decreases the stability of the work surface, thereby forcing you to more fully engage the muscles of your abdomen and lower back. While this makes it much more difficult, it can be a great tool for individuals who have already mastered the basics of the exercise.
About the Stability Ball Chest Fly
The stability ball chest fly is a moderately difficulty strength training exercise that targets the muscles of the chest and triceps. Increasing the strength and muscle tone of the chest helps you to perform a number of everyday activities, such as lifting, pushing and carrying. Ideally, this exercise should be performed if you have already mastered the traditional version of the chest fly. On your first attempt of this exercise, you may want to consider using a spotter in order to ensure safety and prevent possible injury.
Positioning Your Body for the Stability Ball Chest Fly
This first thing you will need to do when getting into position for the stability ball chest fly is find a stability ball that is the right size for you. Ideally, the ball should be large enough to hit your leg halfway between your knee and hip. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, sit on the stability ball, and walk your feet out in front of you, until your head, neck and shoulders are resting comfortably on the ball. Bring the dumbbell up near your shoulders, with your palms facing each other, and your elbows pointed toward the ground. Finally, keep your hips and glutes raised, so that your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Performing the Stability Ball Chest Fly
To perform this exercise properly, start by extending your arms out to the side. Your palms should be facing the sky, and your elbows should have a slight bend in them. Take a deep breath and exhale. As you exhale, use the muscles in your chest to bring the dumbbells in your hands together over the center of your chest. Keep a slight bend in your elbows, but other than that, your arms should be relatively straight the entire time. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to their starting position. Do two sets of 10 repetitions of the stability ball chest flies in order to see the maximum benefit.
Increasing the Intensity of the Stability Ball Chest Fly
As stated above, it is important that you can perform the basics of any exercise before attempting to make it more difficult. When increasing weight with this exercise, make sure that you can do at least three sets of 15 repetitions easily before adding more weight. Doing so too soon could cause major injury.