Looking for a way to make your everyday workout sessions more interesting and challenging? I got an idea – add a gym yoga ball to your next sesh. This fitness accessory is actually a large vinyl ball that you can use in a variety of ways to stretch your body, improve your core stability, improve your balance and much more.
However, to reap the benefits of it, make sure to choose the right size for your body and needs. Yoga balls generally come in three diameter sizes, based on the user’s height: 55cm for short people, 65cm for an average person and 75 cm for tall fellows. A good rule of thumb for finding the right yoga ball fit for you is to sit on it and make sure your hips and knees are at right angles with the floor. Here are 3 interesting ways to incorporate a gym yoga ball into your next workout and maximize your gains.
Aside from helping strengthen your core, this exercise is also good to train your body on the proper way to lift an object to avoid back strain or injury. Stand in front of a wall and place the yoga ball between the wall and your lower back. With your hands on your hips, slowly bend your knees to squat down toward the floor – the ball should roll up your back as you move down. Stop your squat before your knees extend beyond your toes. Hold up in that position for a few seconds and then slowly stand up. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
2. Ball Leg Lifts
This exercise is a common way to strengthen your core and the use of the yoga ball increases the effect. Place the ball on the floor and sit in front of it. Roll back so your shoulders and head are resting on it but your hips and torso are in the air. Keep your feet on the ground while raising yourself until your body is in a straight line and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift one leg off the floor and straighten it until it’s level with the rest of your body. Hold for 10 seconds and then lower the leg. Do the same with the other leg. Repeat 5 to 10 times for each leg.
3. Overhead Ball Squat
Ready to use both your arms and legs? For this exercise, do a traditional squat while holding the stability ball with your arms extended overhead. Adding the weight of the ball while keeping the torso in an upright position engages the shoulders and deltoid muscles. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times for the ultimate effect.