The ball balance is an excellent core whole body exercise that is completed on the exercise ball. This exercise workouts out your entire core, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and shoulders. The move will challenge your stability, balance and coordination. Because the ball balance strengthens so many muscles, it is truly a multipurpose exercise. This exercise affects the body because a strong core helps individuals control movements, stand up straight, stabilize the spine and protect the back. The core muscles begin at the trunk and run the length of the body down the torso. These include your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back muscles. By strengthening these muscles, individuals will be able to transfer power to their limbs faster, which can make them stronger and faster. Furthermore, this type of exercise can help prevent injuries.
For an easy-to-follow guide on how to complete this exercise, please follow the steps outline below. All you need to complete this exercise is an exercise ball and some open space.
Begin by lying on the exercise ball with your upper back and neck supported on the ball. You will have your legs in front of you with knees bent to 90 degrees. Your knees will be aligned directly above your ankles. Your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart. You should be creating a table with your upper body down to your feet.
To maintain balance, hold on to the ball with our arms. You will extend your arms over your head, bend your elbows and place your hands next to your ears. Your elbows will each form a 45-degree angle.
Push your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure that you keep your back flat and in a straight line with your head. You will maintain this form throughout the entire exercise.
While holding onto the ball with your hands, slowly lift your right leg off the ground and extend it out in front of you. Once fully extended, hold your foot for two seconds.
Maintaining control, slowly bring your leg back to the starting position. Check to see that your back is still straight and your hips are pushing up towards the ceiling.
Repeat Step 4 with your left leg. Once you have returned your foot to the starting position, you have completed one repetition. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.
When completing this exercise, you will feel the strain in your hamstrings, core and shoulders. Remember, keep those abdominal and glute muscles engaged throughout the entire exercise. Research shows that core exercises that are completed on an exercise ball activate twice as many stomach muscles as compared to classic abdominal exercises like sit-ups. It is recommended that you complete a 10 to 15 minute core workout three times a week to maximize results.