Have you ever been to the gym or watched an exercise program on TV and seen an oversized beach ball? The fitness industry calls this an “exercise ball.” Before it became a popular tool in the fitness industry, it was commonly used by physical therapists to help rehabilitate patients. However, fitness experts now know it’s one of the best ways to strengthen the abs and back, and to increase stability.
Exercise balls challenge your body by putting it in an unstable or unbalanced environment. When you lie on the ball, your legs and abs instantly contract to keep you from falling off the ball. This contraction of your smaller muscles that you don’t often use helps strengthen your core muscles and is involved in almost every movement you do on a regular basis. Your “core” is the area of your body that holds almost every muscle group together. Once you are able to maintain stability on the ball, you can try adding an exercise (like a chest press or a crunch), and you’ve just increased the intensity of the movement.
At times, we may feel that our own personal life is out of balance. We may question why we have stress and issues that occur in life. When I had a problem trying to control my life, I found I needed to flex more faith. But, what is faith? This came to me last week -“Faith is the strength that keeps us on the path while we wait on God’s timing.” When we strive to make God our Master in all areas of our lives, we’ll find we have better balance. Consequently, we will feel more stable in this unstable environment called life.
“And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV). When you exercise your faith and surrender any issues you have to God, you become stronger spiritually. Likewise, the more time you spend with the exercise ball, the more you will increase your ability to maintain inner core strength and stability in all physical functions. So are you ready to try having fun on a ball?
Well, before you buy a ball, make sure it's the right size for your height. To test it, sit on the ball and make sure your hips are level or just slightly higher than the knees:
- Weight training: Use the ball as a weight bench to add the muscles of your legs, butt, and abs to your regular chest press.
- Abdominal training: Doing crunches, twists, and other traditional exercises on the ball will make it more difficult by using more muscles in your core.
- Flexibility exercises: The ball is great for stretching and relaxing.
- Sitting around: Just sitting on an exercise ball can be a challenging and wonderful way to improve your posture when working on the computer or watching television.
- Playing around: It’s a workout tool but don’t forget it’s also a ball. Your kids will love playing with it! (As a precaution, always supervise children while they are playing with the ball)
I hope you found this article helpful to you, if you have any questions or anything to share, please feel free to comment below. May God bless you!