Exercise! - Stability ball

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06-14-2005, 02:25 AM
If this sounds strange feel free to say so. I work in front of a computer all day but I want to find some way to fit in some toning/strengthening during my work day. I was considering getting a stability ball and putting it in front of my desk to sit on (I also thought about kneeling on top of it) as I understand that just the act of keeping balanced on it can help to improve core strength & toning. Has anyone else tried this or am I crazy? If anyone has tried this what size ball would be appropriate and, dare I say, ergonomically correct for an average height desk? Last question, I saw one at Target from Reebok that has a weight in the bottom "to keep it from rolling away between exercises." Would that be a helpful thing or defeat the purpose of keeping your own balance?

By the way, I work out of my home office so laughing co-workers wouldn't be an issue (although my sister does work with me often & she would be making fun of me sooo hard core).

06-14-2005, 09:16 PM

Just wanted to give you a few more options for the ball, if you get one...

I finally broke down (after 5 months at my gym!) to ask a trainer there what I could do to try to work on my buddah-baby belly. ;) He has me doing the following so far (all including the stability ball--which he says truly helps to strengthen your core by balancing. I have to say---it is definately more challenging than using a regular bench or floor!)

#1: While holding 10lbs :barbell: weight in each hand , do lunges going upstairs (there are 14 steps on my gym staircase, so I take seven steps to the top)

Repeat 3 times.

#2: Placing ball behind your midback against the wall, hold same weights and roll down to a squat position.

Do 10-12 reps.

Do three-four sets of the above combination.

#3: Place ball on floor. Sit on ball with weights in hands. Scoot down until your upper back is on ball and your body is paralell to the floor. Do butterflys 10-12 reps.

#4: In same position, do chest presses. 10-12 reps.

#5: Roll up to sitting position. Do bicep curls. 10-12 reps.

Do three sets of the above.
The ****, as I lovingly call my trainer :D , also has me do 10 minutes of HITT training. That is, on the stationary bike, set at a mid level (like 4), do 15 seconds, then increase level to 7 and pedal as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Alternate, 15 secs easy, 30 secs hard, for 10 minutes. Drink water during your 15 sec breaks. :ebike:
I sweat like a pig through this entire workout!!!! Just wanted to let you know that the ball does help, and to give you some ideas other than sitting on it at your desk. Which by the way is pretty clever I think. You might end up with a sore back though, depending on how long you sit there!!

Good luck! Hope this was helpful!

06-14-2005, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. One question: I don't understand how the ball comes into play doing lunges going up stairs. Could you elaborate on that?

06-14-2005, 10:35 PM
Oh, sorry. You don't use the ball while doing lunges. I can see how that would be difficult! :lol:

That's what I do between sets of squats with the ball. Sorry! :dizzy:

06-14-2005, 11:08 PM
:lol: I was picturing lunging with the ball between front and back leg & trying to get up stairs at the same time. It seemed like a really difficult balance requiring kind of workout!

06-15-2005, 10:57 AM
I've used my stability ball as a computer chair for years. IT started out because we didn't have extra chairs, but now I"m used to it. Having it up stairs ( not downstairs by the weights, ect.) allows me to use it and play with it while watching tv.

They are great things!

It also makes me feel less guilty about being online or watching teevee.. ;)

06-15-2005, 11:38 AM
I just bought a stability ball, but I'm having a dickens of a time trying to inflate the thing. The pump that came with it broke, and it's not quite finished inflating (my butt is a little lower than my knees still).

I love the idea of using it as a computer chair. If I ever get the thing blown up properly, I'm going to try that.

Womaninlove, thanks for posting that routine. I have a stability ball workout DVD, but I won't always have access to the TV.

06-15-2005, 12:50 PM
Alteaon, What size ball do you have?

Betani, Do you have a neighbor with a bicycle pump or air compressor (you would probably have to be careful with a compressor to make sure it doesn't inflate too quickly and pop though)

06-15-2005, 01:04 PM
My in-laws have a compressor, but it's a heavy duty one for car tires, so I'd be afraid to try it. I have a foot pump, but it doesn't have the right nozzle. We might just invest in one of those smaller pumps you find in the camping section of Target or Walmart.

06-16-2005, 01:29 PM
Using the stability ball for a computer chair is a GREAT idea. Sitting on the ball naturally forces you to have better posture. Your back might be a little sore at first but it will definitely strengthen the muscles in your back and stomach. Also, when you are sitting on your ball, bounce straight up and down with your knees straight out in front of you and make sure to keep your weight in your heels and your feet flat on the floor. It is a great work out for your thighs, hamstrings and stomach. I LOVE my stability ball!! I use it every night at home and can do a number of workouts with it...all taught to me by my former trainer (once you learn all of the moves, you don't really need your trainer anymore ;) ) Anyway, I definitely encourage you to use the stability ball.

06-16-2005, 05:50 PM
Using the stability ball for a computer chair is a GREAT idea.

Thanks for being so enthusiastic, leannealise and alteaon. I wondered about this last year and now I think I'm going to get one.

And thanks, JuliaTN, for bringing it up. The idea slipped my mind as life has gone whirling on, but now it's definitely back.

06-19-2005, 05:42 AM
Hi! I too use my stability ball at home for my computer and for watching t.v. I am 5'10" and I use a medium size ball, but it is a little short at my desk.
There is a website called Gaim that sells stability ball chairs meant to be used as office chairs. They basicly look like a support to keep the ball in place with a small back rest. I always wish I could get one, but they are a bit pricey. But if you do end up getting one, let us know if it was worth it!!!

06-19-2005, 09:20 AM
this post made me laugh a little bit, we have a politician here that very one makes fun of because he is kind of eccentric. One of the things that reporters said was *gasp* He uses a stability ball as a chair at work. So now I always think of him. Its not a bad thing, just funny.
I would love it if I could use one at work but I teach high school students and I know it would cause a ruccus.

06-19-2005, 12:22 PM
Found the chair on their website:


Looks interesting but it IS pricey.

ophelia76: do you think the large size would be better suited to put you at keyboard height? I'm only 5'4":rolleyes:

06-19-2005, 03:28 PM
I got the feeling that it might be counterproductive with the base. If the point is to work on core balance, shouldn't your body be what is keeping the ball in place instead of the stand?

Of course, I'm very new to all this, and I could be completely wrong. In fact, I probably am.

06-19-2005, 06:55 PM
I had the same thought and I'm still not sure about it although I think the act of balancing yourself on top of the ball (as opposed to keeping the ball balanced) might be the thing. Anyone else have any feedback?