A yoga ball, also known as an exercise or Swiss ball, is a soft inflatable prop used to add balance and core strengthening challenges to workouts. These versatile tools can be integrated into most poses to make them easier or more challenging.
Lie on the ball and walk your feet away from the body to extend the spine, focusing on maintaining a straight body alignment. Perform 10 reps.
A yoga ball adds a level of instability to exercises, targeting different muscle groups than a traditional exercise equipment. It can add variety to your workout and can help increase balance and core strength.
The obliques are the largest muscles in your abdominal region and contribute to good posture and support of your spine. These muscles also sculpt the shape of your waistline.
To engage your core with a yoga ball, position the ball so it supports your head and upper body. Then, roll your body toward one side and return to the center. Repeat this move 15 times on each side to sculpt your abs.
If you choose to use a yoga ball for sitting, consult with your physical therapist or doctor to make sure the exercises you perform are safe. The stability ball can compress your back muscles if used for too long and may irritate any injuries, conditions or imbalances you have.
Stretching reduces muscle tension and increases flexibility, allowing muscles to move through a greater range of motion without causing pain. Increased flexibility enhances athletic performance and improves functional movement. Stretching also can help relieve back pain, as well as neck and shoulder pain.
Dynamic stretching is a controlled movement that prepares muscles for exercise by increasing muscle temperature and decreasing stiffness. It’s typically used before a workout or game and helps prevent injury.
Stretch your hip flexors by lying supine over an exercise ball, with the top of your spine contacting the ball. Slowly roll your upper body toward the ball, and hold the position for 20 to 60 seconds. Then, exhale and relax your torso further to stretch the area even more. Repeat the stretch several times daily. For added challenge, use a larger or smaller ball for increased or decreased stability. This will require you to work harder for balance and challenge different muscles.
Whether you use it to improve posture and spine health or as a way to add fun to your workout, the balance ball can really up your stability game. The unstable surface engages your core muscles to keep you stable as you exercise, which helps build strength and tone.
Sit on the yoga ball with your back straight and abs drawn in, placing your hands either on the ball or behind your head (harder). Slowly start to roll your hips in circles towards the right and then the left, contracting your abs as you go. Start with small circles and as you get better, try bigger circles.
Made of high quality PVC with anti-burst technology, this fitness ball is perfect for any yogi looking to up their stability game. It features a comfortable grippy surface and can withstand up to 1100 pounds of weight. It also comes with a pump to make inflation quick and easy.
Sitting on a yoga ball can help with core strength and posture, but it also provides flexibility training. The unstable surface of the yoga ball challenges muscles and ligaments to maintain stability, which can improve your range of motion.
Flexibility has been linked to a variety of health benefits, such as reduced risk of back pain and improved cardiovascular function. However, studies have shown that flexibility is highly specific to joint and muscle groups and is difficult to link to overall health (5).
To perform a dynamic flexibility exercise on a yoga ball, arrange the ball in a corner of a room so it can be leaning against 2 walls. Then get into a push-up position and place your palms on the surface of the ball to make it more challenging. Perform several reps of this workout, focusing on keeping your arms and core engaged. You can also use a weighted yoga ball to add resistance to your workouts.