Increasing Fitness With An Exercise Ball: A Guide

Core exercises can be done with the help of a fitness exercise ball, but first it is important to understand what core exercises are and what benefits they produce. Core exercises will properly strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Strong core muscles – the 29 muscles of the body trunk and pelvis area – are important in maintaining proper posture, for core stability, and to prevent pain and/or injuries to the back. Strong core muscles make physical activities easier, and therefore more fun.

Quality Of Movement

Technique, body position, and alignment, is of the utmost importance, so get help from a professional trainer (at least in starting out). Incorrect technique can lead to injury, so use a trained professional instructor until technique is mastered. First master the technique since stamina will come in time enabling longer workouts. To prevent overdeveloping one muscle group and for sheer economics, choose exercises that work more than one core muscle simultaneously.

Conditioning Takes Time

Breathing allows for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, so breathe deliberately and slowly. Oxygen is important for muscle contraction and the elimination of toxins in the blood, including lactic acid, which builds up during exercise.

Rest allows the muscles to recover from exercise so take breaks when necessary. Forcing exercise when fatigued invites injury. Changing the exercise allows for the release of tension built up in the muscles. Sometimes it is necessary to rest a full day for muscles to recover from strenuous exercise. Exercise tears down muscles while rest builds them up again.

Include conditioning exercises since exercises that build up stamina are as important as the strengthening exercises themselves. This will prevent injury, and warm-up muscles before intensive workouts. It is just as important as warming down muscles as well. Sudden stoppage of exercising can cause muscles to prematurely cool down quickly and cramp up.

Exercise Ball Uses

Just by sitting and gently bouncing on a fitness ball will exercise abdominal, thigh, and back muscles. Doing crunches while sitting on a fitness ball are much easier that doing these exercises on the floor. Crunches from the floor involve moving the head and chest area toward the knees, whereas sitting on a fitness ball doing crunches involve leaning back (so that the body is parallel to the floor), and holding that position for several seconds before returning to an upright position.

Begin slowly with 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 repetitions of each exercise. For added stability, rest the fitness ball against a wall until balance has been perfected. Stop any exercise when there is pain.

For strengthening the back, position the ball under your lower torso and keep hands behind the back. Slowly roll down the ball, keeping the body parallel with the floor. Or balance on the fitness ball with head, hands, and feet off of the floor for 20 to 30 seconds.

Core strength exercises are relatively simple and are low impact in nature. Strengthening and toning exercises will help you lose weight. Core exercises do not require speed. They are more in line with Pilates, with slow and deliberate movements. Exercises should be done at least three times per week.


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