The Top Benefits of Exercise Balls

Looking to spice up your workout? The exercise ball is a great place to start. They are in practically every gym and are a great, inexpensive piece of equipment to have at home as well.

In 1963 the exercise ball was created by Italian plastics manufacturer Aquilino Cosani. Initially, they were called Pezzi balls and used in treatment programs for newborns and infants.1

Reap the top health benefits of using an exercise ball

Exercise balls have seen their popularity increase over the years and are currently used in a variety of ways, ranging from physical therapy in a clinical setting to athletic training. There may be confusion as to what an exercise ball is, but it has a variety of names:

  • Yoga ball
  • Stability ball
  • Balance ball
  • Physio ball
  • Swedish ball

Benefits of Using an Exercise Ball

Exercise balls have gained popularity among fitness activists for a variety of reasons:

More muscles used. When exercising on a resistance ball as opposed to a flat surface, more muscles are used to keep the body balanced. As a result, these muscles become stronger over time.

Decrease back pain. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that the use of a stability ball could improve posture and might benefit individuals who spend a lot of time sitting or who are prone to back pain.2

Strengthen the core. The muscles in the core are used for most daily activities such as reaching and lifting. A strong core is essential for athletes and can help improve sports performance as well as help protect against injury in everyday living.

Top Stability Ball Exercises

An exercise ball can be used in a variety of ways. Here is a full body stability ball workout routine that can be performed with or without weight:

Exercise Ball Chest Exercises

Stability Ball Pushups

Stability ball pushups with hands on the ball and feet on the floor

  • Can be done with hands on the ball or with feet on the ball and hands on the floor
  • Push yourself up by extending your arms and slowly lower
  • Inhale when lowering body and exhale when pushing body up
  • Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps

Stability ball pushups with feet on the ball and hands on the floor

Stability Ball Back Exercises

Stability Ball Back Extension

  • Lie on stability ball with your hands behind your head.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line.
  • Repeat.
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

Build strength & stability in the lower back and glutes with stability ball back extension

Stability Ball Reverse Hyperextension

  • Lie on the exercise ball legs down and extended
  • Keeping legs extended, slowly raise legs
  • Pause briefly
  • Lower slowly
  • Inhale while lowering legs, exhale when raising
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

Reverse hyperextension with stability ball with proper form and technique

Exercise Ball Shoulder Exercises

Note: these exercises can be done with or without light weights.

Rear Deltoid Raise

  • Lie on exercise ball with back and legs extended
  • Keeping arms bent, raise upper arms until parallel to the floor
  • Pause
  • Slowly Lower
  • Repeat
  • Exhale when bringing arms up and exhale when lower
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

Real deltoid raise exercise with or without weights

Side Deltoid Raise

  • Lie on your left side on the exercise ball
  • Place left arm on ball for stability with legs extended
  • With right arm extended, slowly raise until arm is pointed towards ceiling
  • Repeat
  • Exhale as arm is extended, inhale when lowering
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

Side deltoid raise workout with or without weights

Stability Ball Core Exercises

Stability Ball V-Pass

Stability ball V-pass core exercises

  • Lie face up on the floor, arms extended, holding stability ball with both hands
  • With legs extended, lift arms and legs off the ground at the same time and place ball between your feet
  • Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower arms and legs simultaneously
  • Raise arms and legs simultaneously and grab ball with hands and lower
  • Repeat
  • Perform 15-30 reps

Stability Ball Knee Tuck

Stability ball knee tuck workout

  • Start in pushup position with legs resting on stability ball
  • Tighten abs and bring knees close to chest
  • Hold for 2 seconds
  • Extend legs
  • Repeat
  • Exhale as you bring legs close, inhale as legs are extended
  • Perform 10-20 reps
Stability Ball Leg Exercises

Wall Squats with my Stability Ball

Wall squats with the stability ball

  • Place the ball between the wall and your lower back, feet out slightly
  • Slowly lower your body toward the floor in a squat position as you continuously push back into the ball
  • Repeat
  • Inhale as lower, exhale as you rise to standing position
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

Exercise ball wall squats for legs

Lying Hamstring Curl

Lying hamstring curl on exercise ball

  • Lay flat on your back with exercise ball under your feet
  • Dig heels into the ball and extend arms into floor for support
  • Roll ball towards body slowly, keeping hips as still as possible
  • Slowly extend legs to straight position
  • Repeat
  • Inhale as legs are pulled in, exhale as legs are straightened
  • Perform 2 sets 10-15 reps

The stability ball is a great way to add variety to a workout and can be done at a gym or in the comfort of home.



Tactics for Alleviating the Boredom Associated with Your Workout

One of the biggest obstacles to getting a workout in can be lack of motivation. Working out may not always be the most entertaining activity, and you can probably come up with a lot of things that you would rather be doing. Take a look at these ideas to help you keep your workouts interesting.

Don’t repeatedly do the same workout. Repetition day-after-day not only feels boring, but also keeps you from using new muscles. The muscles that you are using will get used to what they are doing, leaving you with no improvements. It is important to realize that novel exercise is best for strengthening the whole body. Change resistance, speed or number of reps.

Ideas to escape a boring exercise routine

Another aspect of your workout that is easy to mix up is the scenery. Now that spring is here, you have an opportunity to get outside. Why use a treadmill when you can take in the scenery outdoors? Beyond just that, being outside gives you an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Being outside is a chance to bring the dog out or even run some errands, if possible.

Try bringing a friend along with you. A workout can be a great social opportunity, and conversation is a great distraction. Your workout partner may even help push you to work harder. Making plans to meet with a friend will also keep you committed to showing up. There’s no backing out when you know a friend is waiting.

An important part of pushing past your workout boredom involves setting goals. You will probably need to change up your workouts to achieve those goals, and integrating cardio with strength training will propel you further. Start with small milestones and work upward. By setting goals, you are competing with yourself to do your best. Take in your victories and note your progress. Over time, you will see that you have made a huge transformation.

An obvious suggestion that often goes overlooked is to play some music. Mix up your playlist and push yourself to match the tempo. There are websites with playlists designed to match a specific tempo or heart rate. Maybe even turn your workout into a game. There are tons of apps designed specifically for this purpose that focus on running, lifting or other types of exercises.

Beat workout boredom with our gym grade fitness equipments

Overall, there’s a lot that can be done to help combat boredom during a workout. That said, your biggest obstacle and your fiercest competitor will be yourself. Keep the benefits of your workout in mind, and you will be pushed above and beyond.


The Top Health Benefits of Skipping Rope

Pressed For Time? Try Skipping Rope

For many people, getting (and staying) in shape is harder than ever. Thanks to busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, many people don’t have the time (or energy) to take care of their bodies as they should. When diets high in sugar and processed foods are added to the equation it’s a recipe for disaster.

Living a healthy lifestyle may be difficult, but it’s not impossible: skipping rope may be just what a person needs.

Top health benefits of jump rope workouts

The Benefits of Skipping Rope

Skipping rope is popular with kids, but it is especially beneficial for adults:

Burns calories fast. Minute for minute, skipping rope ranks near the top of the list for exercises that burn calories, making it an effective way to lose weight. It is estimated that a 200 pound person can burn up to 1000 calories in an hour, which is equivalent to 166 calories in 10 minutes, or running eight minute miles. 1

Convenience. Skipping rope can be done anywhere: at the office, in a hotel room, at home, etc. This allows even the busiest of people to get a quick workout wherever they are.

Full body workout. Skipping rope works the entire body: not only do the thighs, calves and hamstrings get a great workout, but the chest, shoulders, back and core reap benefits as well.

Increased coordination and concentration. Skipping rope takes timing and concentration, and both of these skills can be applied to other aspects of a person’s life.

Increased bone density. A study in the American Journal of Health Promotion studied the effects of skipping rope on sixty premenopausal women ages 25 to 50 for four months against those who were sedentary. At the end of the study, bone mineral density increased for the rope skippers by an average of .5%, while women who did not jump lost an average of 1.3% bone density.2

Skipping Rope Routines

A person can skip rope exclusively, or it can be done as part of a workout. Here are two sample jump rope workouts:

Workout #1

  1. Jump rope 90 seconds Inchworms 1 minute
    Inchworms for 1 minute
  2. Jump rope 90 seconds Mountain Climbers 20 seconds
    Mountain Climbers 20 seconds
  3. Jump rope 90 seconds Leg Raises (30 seconds)
    Leg Raises for 30 seconds
  4. Jump rope 90 seconds Walking lunges 10 (curls optional)
    Walking lunges 10 (curls optional)
  5. Jump rope 90 seconds Quadraplex (45 seconds each side)
    Quadraplex (45 seconds each side)

Rest 2-5 minutes. Repeat

Workout #2

Stand in front of a clock or timer

  • Jump Rope for 3 minutes to warm up
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope as quickly as possible for 60 seconds
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • Jump Rope as quickly as possible for 60 seconds
  • Rest for 30 seconds

Repeat this alternating pattern for 15-20 minutes

Skipping rope is a great exercise for all fitness levels and can be done practically anywhere. If a person is pressed for time or is simply looking to spice up their current fitness routine, skipping rope may be the answer.


Exercise Ball: Make the Smart Choice to Stay Fit at Work!

You may have heard of people replacing their classic desk chair with an exercise ball, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd to replace a sleek, leather-covered, padded, rolling chair with a big ball full of air? What, exactly, is all the hype about?

There is much more to an exercise ball than first meets the eye. While sitting on an exercise ball, the body is constantly making small adjustments to remain balanced. Though these adjustments are usually unrecognizable, they are repeatedly working various muscle groups in the core and back. Using these muscles strengthens the core muscles and increases balance through improved posture.

Exercise ball to stay fit and energetic in the office

A classic office chair is often considered a major source of back and neck pain. Most office equipment is built in a way that promotes poor posture, rather than good posture. This improper sitting can decrease productivity by reducing oxygen intake, and, in turn, energy. Slouching, or poor posture, has various short-term and long-term effects, so it should be ended sooner rather than later. Luckily, the option of using an exercise ball in place of a traditional office chair is now becoming commonplace.

Short-term, improved posture will help you to walk a little taller and sit comfortably for longer time periods, but those are not the only benefits. Improvements to your posture will take tension away from your entire body. Blood flow and breathing are quickly improved. Improvements in posture have also been shown to improve brain function and memory, along with mood increases and stress reduction. Beyond just that, improving your posture can eradicate back pain or put a stop to it before it even happens.

Sneak some exercise into the work-day. You can easily toss in some hip exercises by rolling backward or forward. You can also work your quads simply by sustaining a slow bounce. Beyond that, there are various exercises that you should probably hold off on until your lunch break, and these exercises will leave you feeling fresh for the second half of your day.

When beginning with an exercise ball in the office, you may want to use the ball for short periods of time until you become used to sitting on the ball. You will be surprised at how quickly your muscles grow tired at first, but your core and back muscles will soon adapt and strengthen with increased endurance. While on the ball, your thighs should maintain a position parallel to the floor, with upper arms remaining parallel to the spine. Keep in mind that your face should be pointed toward the middle of your computer screen rather than looking up or down to the screen.

Using an exercise ball in place of a desk chair has very clear benefits that will help you not only now, but years into the future. Your health, energy and posture can quickly be improved by making this small transition. It is time to make the smart choice to roll your desk chair out of the door and roll an exercise ball in.