How to Do Leg Lifts With an Exercise Ball
Doing leg lifts with an exercise ball gives your leg and abdominal muscles a better workout because your body works to keep balanced in response to the instability of the exercise ball; those muscles you use to balance keep getting stronger. The exercise ball, or “Swiss” ball was developed in the 1960s and used in Switzerland for physical therapy. The balls are still used for therapy and for body ergonomics, but now have become a popular addition to home and commercial gym workouts.
In a standing position, press the exercise ball between your chest and a wall, with your feet flat on the floor.
Stand on your toes and slowly raise yourself up.Pause and hold this position for a few seconds.
Lower yourself down slowly until your feet are flat on the floor again.Complete 12 repetitions of this exercise, and repeat until you’ve done 3 sets.
Lie on your back and place your feet on top of the exercise ball.Keep your legs and back straight.
Bend your knees and slowly roll the ball toward you.Hold this position for a few seconds.
Slowly return the ball to the original position by extending your legs.Complete 15 repetitions of this exercise, and repeat until you’ve done 3 sets.
Thigh Squeeze in a Sitting Position
Straddle the exercise ball with your thighs and cross your arms over your chest.
Try to bring your thighs together by squeezing the ball between your legs.Hold for a few seconds.
Slowly release your thighs.Complete 20 repetitions of this exercise, and repeat until you’ve done 3 sets.
Thigh Squeeze in a Lying Position
Lie on your right side on the floor and cross your arms in front of your body.
If it is too difficult to keep your head raised, you can bend your bottom elbow to rest your head on your hand.
Place the exercise ball between your feet and lift it slowly.Use your hips and butt when lifting and don’t lift the rest of your body.
Return to the starting position.That is one repetition. Complete 15 repetitions, preferably in sets of 3.
Standing Hip Exercise
Stand on your right leg and extend your left leg out in front of you, putting your left foot on top of the exercise ball.
Slowly roll the exercise ball towards you by bending the knee of the leg you’re not standing on.Pause and slowly roll it away again.
Alternate sides until you’ve completed 20 repetitions of this exercise.Repeat until you’ve done 3 sets.
Lying Down Hip Exercise
Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides.
Place your calves on top of the ball keeping your legs straight and parallel to each other.
Lift your buttocks off the ground while pointing your feet up.
With buttocks still in the air, bend your legs and roll the ball closer to you.Be cautious not to round your lower back.
Slowly extend your legs, keeping them parallel to each other, and return to the starting position.
Beginners should try to do one set of 10 to 16 repetitions for each exercise. Work yourself up to 20 repetitions of three sets every other day.
- Sweat can make the ball slippery; wear training shoes and clothing to cover your arms and legs to avoid slipping on the ball.
- The exercise ball may become sweaty while you are exercising; it helps to have a towel handy to keep it dry.
- It may take a few sessions before you feel comfortable working with an exercise ball. For standing exercises, you may want to place your hand on the wall to help you balance.
- Take it very slow in the beginning if you have poor balance. With daily practice, your balance should improve within a few weeks.
- Try doing this while watching TV.
- Your body will benefit more if you do the exercises with the ball slowly and correctly, making each move intentional.
- Resistance will improve results. Once you have mastered an exercise, try adding resistance by using ankle weights. Start with 1 pound weights and gradually increase.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s air pressure guidelines, as well as the recommendations for height and weight. If possible, visit your local gym and experiment with different sizes of exercise balls until you find the one that is perfect for you.
- Don’t hold your breath during any exercise. You need oxygen to work the muscles.
- Stop performing any exercise if you feel pain or any discomfort.
- Even though you are working with a ball and not a machine, keep in mind that injuries can still occur. The best way to stay injury-free is to perform each exercise correctly and slowly.
Video: How to Do a Leg Raise | Ab Workout
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