Full body fitball workout
Using an exercise ball helps strengthen your core and increase your stability. Start by choosing the correct size exercise ball for your height: if you’re less than 163cm tall, you’ll need a 55cm ball; if you’re taller than 180cm, pick a 75cm ball; if you’re in between, use a 65cm ball.
It’s important to warm-up before you get into your exercises. Get your blood pumping with a brisk walk before you start.
Start out easy with reps for up to one minute at a time. Create a circuit of all six exercises by doing them one after another in single sets. Repeat the circuit up to three times and do it two to four times a week for best results.
1. Wall squats
Works: Your legs
How-to: Stand with your back to the wall and feet hip-width apart. Place the ball between your lower back and the wall. Lower yourself to a seated position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Push your feet into the floor and your back against the fitness ball and slowly straighten up. Sit back down to a squat position. Repeat.
2. Ball bridges
Works: Your back and bottom.
How-to: Support your upper back and shoulders on the ball and interlace your hands behind the back of 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 parallel to the mat. Engage your tummy and lower your buttocks towards the floor. Press through your heels and engage your glutes to raise your hips back up to the starting position. Continue lowering and raising your hips.
3. Abdominal crunches
Works: Your upper abs.
How-to: Sit on the edge of an exercise ball with your feet placed firmly 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 lift and lower your shoulder blades to a 45-degree angle. Exhale as you lift up and inhale as you lower. Repeat.
4. Triceps dips
Works: The back of your upper arms
How-to: Sit on the ball. Place your hands beside your hips with fingers pointing forwards. Step forward with each foot to take your bottom off the ball. Support your body weight with both hands behind you and even pressure in your feet, which should be hip-width apart. Bend at the elbows as you lower your bottom to just above the floor. Keep your back straight and close to your hands at all times. Straighten your elbows in between each dip to return to the starting position.
5. Wall push-ups
Works: Your chest and arms
How-to: Hold the exercise ball in both hands and position it against a wall at chest height. Lean forward onto the ball with your elbows straight. Take your feet back about a metre from the wall. Hold your body in a straight line and lower your body towards the wall, bending the elbows out to the sides. Stop before your chest touches the ball and push yourself back out to the starting position. Repeat.
6. Raise and reach
Works: Your 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 the opposite leg behind you to hip height. Hold and then lower the arm and leg back to the floor. Repeat with the other arm and leg and continue alternating.