An ab roll is one of the most popular things that a fitness trainer can do with an exercise ball. Using the rolling flexibility of a fitness or exercise ball challenges the core muscles that help support the spine. This leads to better overall fitness conditioning, agility and some calorie burning. By targeting the abdominal muscles, the trainer can also get a trimmer stomach with more muscle tone. Here's how to do the ab roll with an exercise ball.
The conventional starting position for the ab roll includes kneeling on the ground with the ball in front of you. Your arms should be bent forward at the elbows, with forearms resting on the exercise ball.
While in this stationary position, the fitness participant should draw the belly up toward the spine, or in other words, keep the torso in a relatively high position, increasing the demand and tension on the upper body.
When the individual rolls forward in this position, it stretches the upper body and generates more of a challenge. Roll forward slowly, and not so far as to jeopardize the body's stability.
The return trip is largely the same as the original forward roll. During the roll back, the exercise ball user should be careful to keep her body in a similar position as it was on the way out. The temptation is to slack while returning to your original position. The arms, abs, and core muscles will get a lot of use if you stick to proper form all the way through both the roll forward and the roll back.
Generally, the individual who is training will do sets of ab rolls. Three sets of up to 12-15 rolls can be a good idea as long as the participant is not over stressing her body. The sets of ab rolls a trainer chooses will depend on the other kinds of exercise ball activities included in a session to get comprehensive fitness results.
Switching Up Positions
The level of challenge in the ab roll can be changed by shifting the original body position slightly. Over a period of time, trainers can get more comfortable with their own preferred challenge levels for this basic exercise ball routine.
If it seems like that's about all there is in a fitness ball ab roll, keep in mind that variations in the exercise can help you achieve the core structure and overall body tone that you are looking for. In addition, there are a lot of other exercises that rely on the flexibility of the exercise ball to help provide a good workout with just a few basic tools, and in a small area. Take a look at all of the different aerobic exercises and resistance challenges that can help you build a better body with a simple fitness tool like the exercise ball.