NEWS FLASH:

FitBall (Stability Ball) Exercises

FitBalls (or Stability Balls) are a familiar sight in many gyms these days and are commonly used for abdominal training. However their usage goes so much further. CORE conditioning relies heavily on the variety of movements and exercises that can be performed with comfort and safety, as well as intensity.

Tips for Safe, Effective FitBall Workouts:

Always check your ball and workout area and clear away any stray debris, such as grit, staples, tacks, thorns, etc. These can make for a "deflating" workout experience if one of these punctures your ball!

Take care that the ball does not slide out from underneath you. Use a mat if the floor is slippery.

It is important to warm-up & stretch correctly. After your warm-up, take a short rest of approximately 60 seconds and begin your workout.

Instructions

  • 1a - Squat Regular Stance FitBall Start

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Quadriceps (Thighs), Gluteus & Hamstrings.

    Place a FitBall against a solid flat surface and fitted snugly in to your lower back. Feet are shoulder width apart and placed slightly in front of the waist line. The body is relaxed and posture upright.

  • 1b - Squat Regular Stance FitBall Half or Full.

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Quadriceps (Thighs), Gluteus & Hamstrings.

    Place a FitBall against a solid flat surface and fitted snugly in to your lower back. Feet are shoulder width apart and placed slightly in front of the waist line. The body is relaxed and posture upright. Breathe in through the nose whilst slowly bending at the knees and squatting straight down to either a half squat (as shown) or lower to a full squat (thighs parallel to the ground). Ensure that the knees never pass over the line of the toes. If this happens, you are either not standing forward enough at the start or you are bending forward whilst squatting down. Do at least 5 – 8 repetitions for a start, increasing to over 100 per set.

  • 2a - Squat Wide Stance FitBall Start.

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Quadriceps (Thighs), Gluteus & Hamstrings.

    Place a FitBall against a solid flat surface and fitted snugly in to your lower back. Feet are double shoulder width apart with toes facing out at an angle of 45 degrees and placed slightly in front of the waist line. The body is relaxed and posture upright. This position will place more emphasis on the inner thighs.

  • 2b - Squat Wide Open Stance FitBall Half or Full

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Quadriceps (Thighs), Gluteus & Hamstrings.

    Place a FitBall against a solid flat surface and fitted snugly in to your lower back. Feet are double shoulder width apart and placed slightly in front of the waist line. The body is relaxed and posture upright. Breathe in through the nose whilst slowly bending at the knees and squatting straight down to either a half squat (as shown) or lower to a full squat (thighs parallel to the ground). Ensure that the knees never pass over the line of the toes. If this happens, you are either not standing forward enough at the start or you are bending forward whilst squatting down. Do at least 5 – 8 repetitions for a start, increasing to over 100 per set.

  • 3a – All the CORE muscles.

    Posture: Sit upright on a FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: All the CORE muscles

    Sit on a FitBall with feet shoulder width apart. Place your left had on the left knee for balance. Place the right hand under the right knee & slowly raise the knee using your breathing, as well as your gluteus & abdominal muscles to help you balance.Hold the knee up for 11- 15 seconds and slowly lower it to the floor.Repeat with the left leg.

  • 3b – All the CORE muscles.

    Posture: Sit upright on a FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: All the CORE muscles

    This is an extension of # 3 a, where you extend the right and hold for a few seconds, and then repeat for 5 repetitions. Repeat with the other leg.

  • 4a – All the CORE muscles.

    Posture: Lie on a FitBall positioned in the lower back.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: All the CORE muscles

    Lying on you back, feet shoulder or more width apart, arms spread to the sides or at the start, resting on the floor for balance

    Now extend one leg, hold for 5 seconds and lower.Repeat for 5 repetitions.

    Repeat with the other leg.

  • 5 – All the CORE muscles.

    Posture: Lie on a FitBall positioned in the lower back.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: All the CORE muscles

    Lying on you back, feet shoulder or more width apart, arms spread to the sides or at the start, resting on the floor for balance.

    Now extend lift leg, hold for 5 seconds and lower. Repeat for 5 repetitions.

    Repeat with the other leg.

  • 6 – All the CORE muscles.

    Posture: Sit upright.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: All the CORE muscles

    Lie on you back, feet shoulder or more width apart.Take a wide grip on a broom or dowel stick.Starting in a upright position, lower the arms to your waistline with arms straight.

    Then extend the arms all the way back as far as you can stretch with the arms straight.Repeat for 8 – 10 repetitions.

    Once again your balance must be controlled by your CORE muscles.

    Exhale when raising the dowel to the start position, and inhale while extending either forward and back.

  • 7 - Abdominal Crunch Start.

    Posture: Lie with your middle back area on a FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Upper Abdominals.

    Lie on a FitBall as shown, with the feet more than shoulder width apart for balance.

    Hands are clasped behind your head or resting on your abdomen. Inhale and slowly raise the upper body whilst exhaling. Return to the start position whilst inhaling ready for the next repetition. Do at least 5 repetitions as a start, increasing slowly as you improve in strength and technique.

    An alternative is to swing the shoulders slightly left and then right alternatively with each repetition. This is an advanced movement and should be attempted only after you have become more accustomed to the movement.

  • 8 – Abdominal Reverse Crunch with FitBall.

    Posture: Lie on your back.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Lower Abdominals.

    Place the FitBall under your calves & tucked in close to your hamstrings and buttocks.

    Grab the FitBall with your heels , inhale & lift the FitBall as high as possible & towards you whilst exhaling. Repeat for 8 – 12 repetitions.

  • 9a – Chest & Shoulder Lying Fly FitBall Start.

    Posture:Lie with your lower back on a FitBall, knees bent to 90 degrees.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders & Upper Back.

    Start with the arms extended open & parallel to the ground. You are now going to start the movement by moving the arms to cross over in the front of the chest, using concentration to create resistance both going forward and back.

  • 9b - Chest & Shoulder Lying Fly FitBall Finish.

    Posture:Lie with your lower back on a FitBall, knees bent to 90 degrees.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Upper Chest, Shoulders & Upper Back.

    Squeeze the arms in front of and across your upper chest. As you reach your maximum crossover, give an extra squeeze with the chest muscles and then squeeze the back muscles throughout the reverse direction back to the start position. Repeat for between 12 - 15 repetitions at a slow deliberate rate. Don’t hurry the exercise – slow and deliberate is best.

  • 10 (1) – Advanced Press Up Position Start

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This is the most advanced of 3 starting positions on the FitBall - with the ankles on the FitBall. The reason is to make the exercise easier or more difficult.

  • 10 (2) – Experienced Press Up Position Start

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This is the suggested intermediary position, with just below the knees on the FitBall. The reason is to make the exercise easier or more difficult.

  • 10 (3) – Beginners Press Up Position Start.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    There are a few starting positions which will either make the exercise more difficult or easier even for the absolute beginner who has never been able to accomplish even one press up. This is the suggested beginner position, with just below the hips – or even the hips proper, on the FitBall.

  • 11a – Press Up Start – Regular Width.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at shoulder width apart with fingers facing forward. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position.

  • 11b - Press Up Finish.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at shoulder width apart with fingers facing forward. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position. Beginners should start with a half range movement rather than a full movement as shown. Start with 5 repetitions increasing to your maximum.

  • 12a - Press Up Wide Start.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at double shoulder width apart with fingers facing outwards. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions or use body movement. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position.

  • 12b - Press Up Wide Finish.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at double shoulder width apart with fingers facing outwards. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position. Beginners should start with a half movement rather than a full movement as shown. Start with 5 repetitions increasing to your maximum.

  • 13a - Press Up Narrow Start .

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at less than shoulder width apart with fingers facing forward. This position places more emphasis on the triceps. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions or use body movement. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position.

  • 13b - Press Up Narrow Finish.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    Don’t hurry the repetitions or use body movement. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position. Beginners should start with a half movement rather than a full movement as shown. Start with 5 repetitions increasing to your maximum. Start with 5 repetitions increasing to your maximum.

  • 14 a - Press Up on Knuckles Narrow Start.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at shoulder width apart and on the knuckles rather than the open hands. For advanced exercisers only. This hand position will place more emphasis on the triceps. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions or use body movement. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position.

  • 14 b - Press Up on Knuckles Narrow Finish.

    Posture:The body should be as level with the floor as possible. Hands directly below the shoulders line. Head level. Knees not locked. Shins on the FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Chest, Shoulders, Back and Upper Arms.

    This photo shows the hands at shoulder width apart and on the knuckles rather than the open hands. For advanced exercisers only. This hand position will place more emphasis on the triceps. The exercise must be done slowly using the arms only to propel the movement. Don’t hurry the repetitions or use body movement. Keep the line of the body constant throughout the repetition. Breathe in through the nose as you start the exercise and exhale on the upward move back to the start position. The less experienced should start with a half movement rather than a full movement as shown. Start with 5 repetitions increasing to your maximum.

  • 15a – Chest & Shoulder Lying Fly FitBall Start.

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: : Chest, Shoulders & Upper Back.

    Start with the upper arms parallel to the ground. You are now going to start the movement by moving the arms to cross over in the front of the chest, using concentration to create resistance both going forward and back.

  • 15b – Chest & Shoulder Lying Fly FitBall Finish.

    Posture: Stand upright with knees slightly bent

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: : Upper Chest, Shoulders & Upper Back.

    Squeeze the in front of and to cross over the upper chest. As you reach your maximum crossover, give an extra squeeze with the chest muscles and then squeeze the back muscles throughout the reverse direction back to the start position. Repeat for between 12 - 15 repetitions at a slow deliberate rate. Don’t hurry the exercise – slow and deliberate is best.

  • 16 – Pelvic Lift.

    Posture: : Lie flat on your back with your calves on a FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose and exhale from mouth during the exercise. Don’t hold your breath.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: : Gluteus, Abdominals and Lower Back.

    Inhale before lifting the pelvis as high as possible whilst exhaling. Squeeze the buttocks from the start to the finish of the repetition. Inhale when returning to the start position and repeat for 5 – 8 repetitions.

  • 17 – Pelvic Lift Bent Knees.

    Posture: : Lie flat on your back with your feet on a FitBall.

    Breathing: In through nose and exhale from mouth during the exercise. Don’t hold your breath.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: : Gluteus, Abdominals and Lower Back.

    Inhale before lifting the pelvis as high as possible whilst exhaling. Squeeze the buttocks from the start to the finish of the repetition. Inhale when returning to the start position and repeat for 5 – 8 repetitions.

  • 18 - Lying FitBall Gluteus Kicks.

    Posture: : Lie flat on a FitBall with back straight.

    Breathing: In through nose and exhale from mouth during the exercise. Don’t hold your breath.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: : Gluteus and Lower Back.

    The FitBall should be at hip level for beginners. The further the body moves backwards, the more difficult the exercise. Straighten the legs as much as possible and flex the toes inwards. Raise and lower each leg alternatively like a crawl without bending at the knees. Count on one side for 8 repetitions at the start slowly increasing to 20 and more.