Exercise ball workout
Why do this workout?
Exercise ball moves are great for strength, balance and working your whole body.
What do you need?
The exercise ball that’s right for your height. Here’s a guide: a 55cm ball is for people up to 157cm tall; a 65cm ball is best if you’re 158-182cm tall, and a 75cm ball is for you if you’re 182cm or taller.
The workout Do these moves in a circuit 2-4 times a week, completing 1-3 rounds of every exercise for 30-60 seconds each.
Tone up while you work, try swapping your desk chair for an exercise ball. It improves posture and balance and is great for your core. It also forces you to change position frequently so you move and tone more.
1. Ball bridges
Works: Bottom and back of legs
How-to: Support your upper back and shoulders on the ball and interlace your fingers behind your head. Bend your knees so your legs are at right angles and keep your feet hip-width apart. Your back, hips and thighs should be in alignment. Tighten your tummy (imagine pulling your belly button to your spine) and lower your buttocks towards the floor. Engage your glutes to raise your hips back to the start position.
Works: Back and bottom
How-to: Lie with your stomach across the ball and your hands and feet touching the floor. Raise one arm in front of you to shoulder height and lift the opposite leg behind you to hip height. Hold still and then lower the arm and leg to the floor. Repeat with the other arm and leg and continue alternating on each side.
Works: Core, chest and arms
How-to: Kneel down with the ball in front of you and place your forearms on the ball with your hands interlaced. Keeping your back flat and your tummy engaged, slowly roll the ball away from you. Then, engaging your core muscles, roll back to the start position.
4. Abdominal crunches
Works: Upper abs
How-to: Sit on the edge of the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Support the back of your head with your hands and lower your body so your lower back is supported by the ball. Engage your abdominal muscles as you inhale and lower back to a 45-degree angle. Hold and then slowly exhale as you lift up.
5. Reverse Fly
Works: Back muscles
How-to: Lie with your stomach on the ball, with your legs stretched out and toes on the floor. Start with your arms extended downwards and hands near the floor. Lift your arms, bending at your elbows, as shown. Hold still then slowly lower your arms.