Many common exercises can be adopted to the ball to give you a more challenging and efficient work out. For example a traditional push up on the floor versus a push up with your feet on the ball: both are great exercises but the ball version challenges your balance and stability...anytime your balance is challenged, your core (mid-section and torso muscles including your deeper abdominal muscles) works to maintain your balance. So why not recruit more muscle work for the same exercise? Ball exercises are challenging, fun and add some variety to exercise routines.
When choosing a ball, make sure you buy high quality and size the ball correctly to your height. To know if a ball is the right size for you check the following: sit on top of the inflated ball and check to see if (1) your upper legs are parallel to the floor and (2) your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. If both are correct, then this will be the right size ball for you.
Talk to an exercise specialist or fitness trainer to ensure that you have the right size ball and get instruction on proper exercise form. It is best to have a personal exercise program that is suited to your needs and abilities. Don’t forget to read all the safety instructions with your ball and warm up before doing any strength or stretching exercises.
For more information on ball exercises check out “The Great Body Ball Handbook” Written by: Michael Jespersen and Andre Noel Potvin. This is an informative book with step by step instruction and photographs.