Written by IALH Editor
Image via Pinterest
Exercise balls are such a hidden gem in the workout world. Well in any world really… if you’re a 30 mins at home kinda hun, or have a strict routine in the gym 4 days a week, they work for literally everyone. They also reach the muscle groups other workouts tend not to, so you might find new gains in places you never expected.
1) Find the right size
Before you start, you’ll want a ball that’s the right size for your height. This makes exercising and sitting on the ball a lot more comfortable.
Under 5’5: go for a 55cm ball
Between 5’6 and 6ft: go for 65cm ball
Over 6ft: go for a 75cm ball
Once you’ve got your size sorted, you’ll need the right amount of air in it to support you during your workout. It should feel pretty firm to touch but not overinflated so it has no give at all. If you’ve never used an exercise ball before, start simple and just find your balance by sitting and stretching on the ball so you’re comfortable and confident when you move onto the more complex movements.
2) Tone your bum
If a perkier bum is what you’re after, the ball can help you. Try hamstring curls on the ball to work the glutes, hamstrings and even your core.
– Lie on your back with your arms flat by your sides, bend your knees hip-width apart and put your feet up on the ball.
– Squeeze your glutes and lift your lower half off the floor until you’ve got a flat diagonal line from your shoulder to your knees. Extend your legs out, pushing the ball away from you and then bring them back in while trying to maintain the same height. Lower your bum back to the floor and repeat for as many reps and sets as you can manage.
3) Get the thighs you always dreamed of
If more toned, shapely thighs is your goal, try ball back squats. (This will also help tone your bum too!) Perfect for our pregnant huns too, this exercise helps with stability, back strength, your hips and of course those thighs.
– Place the ball against the wall and brace your back against it until you feel a little tension. Keep your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider and squat down. Try to hold the squat for a couple of seconds before coming back up, and do the whole motion quite slowly so you really feel the effects.
– Tip: come up through your heels and squeeze your glutes the entire time.
4) Stir with the ball for toned abs
If your stomach is your target area, try this.
– Get on your knees with the ball in front of you. Grip your hands together and place your arms over the ball.
– Press your elbows into the ball firmly and rotate clockwise, repeat the other way to work all your abs.
5) Mountain climbers for the cardio
If you want to raise your heart rate and burn some fat.
– Place your hands either side of the ball and extend your legs behind you so you’re in a plank position.
– Pull your knee in one at a time, alternating as quickly as you can. Try to kip your hips low and core stable to get the most out of this exercise.