Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Play Ball To Get Fit


Chances are if you've stepped foot in a gym or watched a television fitness program in the past year then you've seen the "big balls". You've probably wondered what all the fuss is about. Well, they may look like something found on a children's playground, but don't be deceived. These balls offer one of the best methods for strengthening your abdominals and core.

That is why the fitness industry is jumping on the ball bandwagon. According to the 2003 Idea Fitness Programs and Equipment Survey, 89 percent of IDEA businesses were offering balls to their customers and 71 percent had added ball group fitness classes in 2003.

Find it hard to believe that simply sitting, rolling or bouncing on a big inflatable ball can make you more fit? Read on to learn just how effective ball fitness can be.

While they are somewhat of a new craze in the public domain, the ball (commonly known as stability ball, fitness ball, Swiss ball, physio ball, etc) was used as early as the 1960s. It originally was used by physical therapist to assist with rehabilitation.

But, the ball is far more versatile and valuable then simply for re-hab use. It is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that offers a total body workout while also improving your balance. There are literally hundreds of different exercises that can be used with the ball. And, both beginners and advanced exercises can benefit from it. Plus, children to seniors can use it.

What makes this piece of fitness equipment so uniquely effective? It works multiple muscles at one time while forcing your body to balance itself. This creates a very effective and challenging workout. For example, lying on a bench to perform tricep extensions is a good exercise but it's limited to working primarily just the triceps. However, perform that same move on a stability ball and you have created an unstable environment. Additional muscles are activated that work to keep you balanced on the ball. That means you are now working harder and essentially getting more bang for your buck while not increasing your exercise time.

So, if you haven't already gotten on the ball, it's time to give it a try. You may think that your workout already provides everything you need but chances are you are focusing the majority of your exercise time on the lower body. It is essential to concentrate fitness time on your core, which is responsible for stabilizing the rest of your body. Having a strong core improves your performance in all activities, not just exercise but also daily activities like carrying groceries. The ball can help improve your posture, balance, and core strength. Virtually every exercise performed on the ball works your core area. And, yes, it can even help you get that sought-after six-pack!

Before you try out the ball be sure to choose the right size and firmness. The harder the ball is then the more difficult the exercise move will be. Therefore, beginners should probably choose a ball that is softer (e.g. not overly inflated). Also, it is important to choose the right size based on your height. The ball manufacturer or your fitness center can provide height guidelines.

As previously mentioned, the ball can be used for a total body workout. With the ball you can work your legs, arms, chest, back, abdominals and you can even get a cardio workout by doing such moves as sitting jumping jacks. Below are a few examples of the types of exercises that can be done with the stability ball.

Oblique Twist:

Begin lying with ball resting under your back. Place hands behind head for support. Using your abdominal muscles slowly raise up lifting your shoulder blades off of the ball and rotate left shoulder toward right hip. Do not strain neck by pulling on it with hands. Keep elbows out to your side. Return to starting position and repeat then switch sides.

Chest Fly:

Lie across the ball with your head and shoulders supported on the ball and your legs bent with heals about two feet from ball. Extend arms overhead with palms facing away from you. Slowly separate your arms in a circular motion and bend your elbows slightly as lower your arms down and rotate your palms to face each other. Return to start position and repeat.

Squat Against Wall:

Lean your back against a ball that is placed against a wall and stand with your feet hip-width apart and about a foot away from the wall. Keep your back in a straight position. Bend your knees and let the ball roll up your back until your knees bend to about a 90 degree angle. Keep your knees behind your toes as you bend. Return to start position and repeat.

About The Author

Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded Workouts For You, which provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for each individual. Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for a free sample workout and to sign-up for their monthly fitness newsletter. Fitness professionals, visit: http://www.trainerforce.com


MORE RESOURCES:

WWL

Weight-loss plan hopes to change weight by changing genes
WWL
NEW ORLEANS -- The latest weight-loss research is finding that calories are only part of the equation. Now a new diet plan promises to reset your genetics and help you change your weight and health quickly. David Zinczenko says the Zero Belly Diet uses ...

and more »


The Salinas Californian

Doctor K: Weight loss drug not for everybody
The Spokesman Review
Not everyone who is overweight needs a weight loss drug. Contrave is approved for adults who are obese and for certain people who are overweight. Obese is defined as a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher. Overweight adults have a BMI between 25 ...
Dr.K: Take a cautious response to new weight loss drugTulsa World

all 7 news articles »


Celebrity Spokeswomen & the $40 Billion Weight-Loss Industry
Entertainment Tonight
As weight-loss companies continue to spend millions on celebrity endorsers, ET dives into the $40 billion a year industry to see who's winning and who's losing. Marie Osmond, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson are just a few of the celebrities who ...

and more »


Yahoo Health

10 Best-Ever Snacks for Weight Loss
Yahoo Health
To help you choose the best crunchy, salty, creamy, chocolatey indulgences—and strip away up to 30 pounds or more a year, without dieting—we at Eat This, Not That! just released our annual report on the 10 Best-Ever Snacks for Weight Loss ...



POPSUGAR

50-Pound Weight-Loss Story
POPSUGAR
Our next Before & After story will change your mind. It comes courtesy of fitness coach Kelsey Byers, who blogs at Good Morning Fitness and is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness program. Read her weight-loss success story and get her tips for ...



Hunterdon Medical Center offers informational seminar on weight loss surgery ...
NJ.com
The Center for Advanced Weight Loss will be holding an informational seminar on weight loss surgery on Wednesday, March 11, 6-7 p.m. at the Hunterdon Medical Center, Meeting Room A/B in Raritan Township. The community is invited to come learn about ...
Health Announcements: Weight loss education seminar, overdose response ...CapitalGazette.com

all 2 news articles »


NorthJersey.com

Ramsey puts residents to the weight-loss challenge again
NorthJersey.com
Ramsey – "Lighten Up Ramsey" is returning for a second year beginning March 15, asking participants not only to trim their waistlines but join in "Walking America." The initiative sponsored by the Board of Health is hoping to set a community weight ...



Closer Weekly

Weight Loss Wednesday: Amanda Shed More Than 50 Pounds to Get Fit for Her ...
Closer Weekly
At nearly 200 pounds, Amanda Gomez says she was a "couch potato" and had a hard time keeping up with her young kids. After her fiancĂ© proposed, Amanda set out on a seven-month weight loss journey by exercising and dieting with Personal Trainer Food ...



U-T San Diego

Weight loss drug claims heart benefit
U-T San Diego
The agency required the trial because of longstanding concerns that weight-loss drugs can cause heart damage. An interim analysis of the results found that Contrave didn't increase "major adverse cardiovascular events" by 100 percent or more. That was ...
Bulking up on a weight loss pillUSA TODAY
Orexigen Weight-Loss Pill Shows Surprise Heart-Safety BenefitTheStreet.com
Orexigen pleases shareholders, irks FDAMedical Marketing and Media
Bloomberg -Ashburn Daily -StreetWise Report
all 88 news articles »


WJHG-TV

Best Workouts for Weight Loss
WJHG-TV
Dr. Karen Cooper, who did not take part in the study but is a weight-loss expert at Cleveland Clinic, said, "Exercise activity will reduce abdominal obesity, which is what we need. It causes diabetes, hypertension, and all of these things we want to avoid.
The Best Workout for Weight LossTIME

all 16 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.