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.
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.
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
Fidgeting: The Natural Weight Loss Diet
It's now official. The simple act of fidgeting can mean the difference between lean and obese.
Tenuate: Should A Diet Pill Be Part Of Your Weight Loss Checklist?
Maybe your doctor suggested it. Maybe your favorite outfit doesn't fit you just the way you like, or maybe you've just decided that you want to be the healthiest you that you can be.
Cleansing the Body for a Detox Weight Loss!
Cleansing: How to Kickstart your Alkaline LifestyleDue to the highly acidic diet that most people in the UK are used to, our bodies urgently need to be cleaned up! It is important to do a cleanse to rid the body of impurities, normalise digestion and metabolism and realign the body to an alkaline pH level of 7.365.
Low Carb Diet Secrets Revealed!
You may be considering a low carb diet program, but wonder if they really work, and if so, how well?Let's take the mystery out of low carb diets by giving you the 3 most important elements to their success.First, you need to bring your carboydrate cravings under control.
Weight Loss With Bontril: Smooth Sailing On The Weight Loss Ocean
As many of us know, it's the first few days of starting a healthy new habit that can be the most discouraging. The first few days of exercise are always the achiest.
Who Said Low Carb Diets Ever Meant No-Carb?
A little information if often a dangerous thing..
Three Sure-Fire Ways To Lose Weight Get Healthier & Feel Great Without Dieting
--ONE--Learn how to reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of your food and to enjoy fruit and vegetables. Use the nutrition guides on pre-packaged food to decide whether or not that product is best for you or your family.
Is the Dr Atkins Diet Safe?
The Dr Atkins Diet has been around for ages, but it has gained significant popularity just over the last several years. Despite its popularity, as with many low carb diets, the Dr Atkins Diet has been the subject of a lot of controversy.
Eating Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight And Stay That Way
There are certain eating habits that can make you gain weight and make you lose weight. The tips below are design to help you lose weight:1.
Weight Loss, Exercise, and New Years Resolutions - Why They Dont Work?
We have all set them, and we will revisit them again around January 1st. For some reason each year we feel it will be different this time around - only to forget the new gym membership, new clothes and new found inspiration about six weeks into the year.
The Health Effects of Being Overweight
Both men and women around the world are becoming fatter and it's partly because of our modern lifestyle, too much fatty food and too little exercise. Some people say, 'Why should it matter if I'm overweight as long as I feel okay?' But being overweight does matter because it increases the risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers.
How to Spot False Weight Loss And Diet Advertising Claims
Flip through a magazine, scan a newspaper, or channel surf and you see them everywhere: Ads that promise quick and easy weight loss without diet or exercise. Wouldn't it be nice if - as the ads claim - you could lose weight simply by taking a pill, wearing a patch, or rubbing in a cream? Too bad claims like that are almost always false.
Dumping Syndrome: The Dirty Secret Gastric Bypass Patients Keep
Dumping syndrome is an effective result of the gastric bypass system which alerts the body of inappropriate eating. Dumping syndrome is described as a shock-like state when small, easily absorbed food particles rapidly dump into the digestive system.
Whole Grains Prevent Weight Gain
Research from Harvard, recently published in the highly respected peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has now proven that women who eat the most whole grains lose more weight and maintain that weight loss better than women who eat the least amount of whole grains.In a twelve year study of over 74,000 nurses, ages 38 to 63, the researchers discovered that women who ate the most whole grain foods weighed less than those who ate the least.
Weight Loss for Good - If Only You Had Known?
Whether coming from a close friend, the nightly news or from a letter in the mail, it's hard to face the truth at times. Hear-ing it can really cut to the core of our be-ings.
Weight Loss/Control Glossary of Terms
A Little Help With Some Difficult terms------------------------------------------ Aerobic Exercise. Any activity involving large muscles, done for an extended period of time.
Fit or Fat?!
"Hey, you have reduced now, compared to the last time I saw you!"These are golden words for a woman who is fat. This woman would not even have lost an ounce but this one makes her feel good.
Lose Weight, Get Fit, and Live Longer
If all we have to do is exercise to live a fuller and healthier life then why isn't everybody doing it? Not enough time? Too expensive? Unmotivated? Well the fact is everybody wants to be healthier but it is time consuming and expensive. Or is it? The problem is that an individual's health is not given a high priority until it's gone.
Conquer Those Carbohydrate Cravings
Are you a hopeless carbohydrate addict? Let's conquer these cravings once and for all?..
Put Down That Brownie! Just One Bite Can Knock You Off Plan
It is very important for low carb dietersto stick to the exact plan prescribed ina book or by a doctor or dietitian.Taking even "one bite" of somethingthat is not on the plan can easilyruin a dieter's progress on a lowcarb plan.