Low Cost, Total Body Workout
It doesn’t take fancy expensive equipment or a membership to a local health club to keep in shape. You can build a good low impact, total body strength workout with just a wall, a ball, and a yoga mat.
This versatile piece of equipment provides some excellent ways to test your balance and improve your core strength. Performing some of your classic workout movements on an unstable surface allows you the ability to give the larger muscle groups an added challenge and activate the smaller ones the play a key role is providing needed stability.
Here are some of my favorite stability ball exercises:
Step 1: Find an empty wall space, and place the stability ball between the wall and your lower back (just above the hips). Stand with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart and positioned several inches in front of your torso. You should feel like you are leaning on the ball.
Step 2: With your chest tall and hands clasped in front of you, slowly lower into a squat position with the upper thighs parallel to the floor (if you experience knee pain then only squat down half way). Make sure the knees do not extend beyond the toes, and keep your posture tall by engaging your core muscles as you press your weight against the stability ball.
Step 3: Slowly roll back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Repeat 30 times.
Single-Leg Wall Squat
If the wall squat felt easy and you’re ready for an additional challenge, give the one-legged version a try.
Step 1: Standing in the beginning position of the first move, lift your right foot off of the floor and extend it in front of you, knee locked, foot flexed and upper thigh engaged.
Step 2: Maintaining that balance, slowly lower into your squat position. This time only squat half way down. Make sure your hips remain aligned with one another, placing the majority of the stress on the left leg.
Step 3: Return to the starting position, but keep your leg extended—that’s one rep.
Repeat 30 times before fully lowering the right leg and switching sides.
Balancing Single Leg Squat
Step 1: Place the stability ball behind you, and carefully lift the right foot and place the top of your shoe directly on top of the ball. Stand tall with the core engaged and hands on the hips for balance.
Step 2: As you slowly squat on the left leg, keep it safely behind the toes. Only squat halfway down. Keep the right leg extended behind you on the ball. Feel the stretch in your right hip flexor as the leg reaches out as straight as possible.
Step 3: Using the power of your left thigh and core, pull your body back up into the starting position to complete one rep.
Leave your right toe on the ball and repeat 30 times before lowering the right leg and switching sides.
Stability Ball Push Ups
Step 1: Place the stability ball at one end of a yoga or exercise mat. Place the tops of your feet and ankles along the top of the stability ball and your hands stacked directly beneath the shoulders, coming into a plank position.
Step 2: Engage the core to keep from rolling off the ball. Quick tip: If you’re struggling to stabilize, widen the feet on the ball to take advantage of a greater surface area or place the ball closer to your knees.
Step 3: Keeping proper pushup form in mind slowly lower your chest toward the floor. Your body should maintain the board-like form as your weight shifts onto your hands and shoulders. Keeping that core engaged, return to the original plank position for one rep.
Repeat 15 times.
If you experience any joint pain or weakness during these exercises, try decreasing the motion and repetitions. If the pain/weakness continues, it could be a sign of a serious joint problem. Call us at 1-800-930-8803 as we are experts in providing relief from pain, injury and weakness.