What is the giant silver ball going rogue and bouncing through the squat racks and across the treadmills? It looks like a dangerous trap for a child and an easily popped chew toy for a dog, but what is it doing in the gym? That funny looking ball is called a stability, or physio ball. The personal trainers at Heroes Fitness often use them to challenge balance, enhance core, and improve strength. Though they look fun, these things are tough!! Here are some of our personal trainers favorite exercises to do on the stability ball.
1. Bridge and Hamstring Curl
We are jumping right in by firing up those glutes and hamstrings! Start by laying on your back, arms extended out like the letter “T” at your side. Resting your calves and heels on the ball, fire up your glutes as you bridge up lifting your hips up off of the ground. Using your arms as stability, slowly roll the ball towards your bum as your curl using your hammies. The soles of your feet should be resting on the ball, and then slowly roll the ball back out so your calves are on it. Drop the hips, and repeat. This is no joke! It’ll get ya! Start with 3 sets of 10, and see how you’re feeling!
2. Wall Squat
Quad time! This one is very much what is sounds like, but with a twist! Find a wall, place the physio ball at your lower back, and keep it in place by balancing it between your back and the wall. with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down to as close to a 90 degree bend at your knees as you can. Remember to keep your chest up as the ball rolls up to your shoulder blades. With control stand back up, and that’s one! Do 10-15.
Scorch the abs with this one! You will feel it by number 3 and will be happy you do! With your belly on the ball roll out until your hands are stacked under your shoulders like high push-up position. Your shins should be resting on tops of the ball. Squeeze your core as you lift your hips and create and inverted “V” shape with your body, AKA, pike! Extend back out and there is number one. Sounds easy, right? Your whole body will be working for this one, so start with 5-8 and adjust from there!
4. Elevated Push-Ups
We all know how to do a push-up, this move just steps it up a notch or two. Begin by rolling over the ball until you are in push up position with your shins on the ball and your wrists below your shoulders. Trying to keep your elbows close to your body and your neck long slowly drop into push-up position. With strength, lift back up into starting position. It is important to lock up your core so that your low back does not sway. Do 5-10, maybe more if you want to challenge yourself.
5. Window Wipers
The Heroes Fitness team loves this one because it really works your entire core–abs, obliques, and back. Start by laying on the ground with the ball between your feet. Your arms are extended long out to your side, again in the “T” shape. Squeezing the physio ball, lift your legs up the towards the ceiling until your body forms as close to 90 degrees as you can. This is the starting position. With control drop legs down to the left hovering about the ground. Inhale back to center. Then window wipe your legs down to the right stopping before you hit the ground. Slowly lift back up. That is 1. Try to do 10 all together. Work towards keeping your legs straight and arms reaching out for balance.
Hope you can try to incorporate some of these personal trainer faves into your next workout routine. Now next time you see an over-sized bouncy ball roaming the gym, you will know what to do. We all at Heroes Fitness try everyday to be better to help you be better. Any and all feedback is always welcomed. So drop us a line, ask a question, or let us know how we are doing.