To raise my spirits on this rainy day I decided to exercise at home with my gym ball, and I have listed the exercises below. The whole session took 25 minutes (minimal breaks between the ten exercises; twice through the set). It nicely challenged my abdominals, upper body and legs.
Warm up – Flights of stairs alternating between one step at a time runs, two steps at a time walk, and one step at a time side-on crossover runs (first facing left, next facing right). Approx. 5 times through.
Then, hold ball and Plie squat (wide stance, feet and knees facing out 45 degrees) taking ball to touch floor then arching it in front and overhead, slightly behind head to feel good stretch. x 10
Ball upper body rotations x 10. Stand feet hip width, knees soft, rotate side to side with long arms.
Hip opening lunge pulses. One foot back in long lunge position, lower hips and gently pulse down x 10.
Exercises: Aim for 10 to 15 of each. Little rest between exercises. Once or twice through the set.
- Kneeling Row – kneel behind ball, upright posture, hands on ball. Keep neutral spine as you roll ball away and pull it back in. Shoulders, hips and knees stay in line. Chest lifted.
- Supine leg lifts – Lie on back, feet on ball. Raise hips and stay lifted as you alternately raise and lower each leg, pushing through the other leg which is on the ball.
- Leg curl – Same starting position as above. Raise hips then pull ball towards your bum by flexing the legs, feet stay still on ball, toes pointing away. Feel the back of your thighs work!
- Narrow press up – Put ball up against sofa / wall. Place hands on top of ball, fingers facing forward. Feet on floor behind you, body in a straight line. Tuck elbows in as you take chest toward ball, then push out to return. Careful, it wobbles!
- Prone hip rotations – Hands on floor directly under shoulders, shins on ball, body in straight line. Lift one leg off ball and rotate hips to take leg behind you a little. Bring that leg back and repeat with other leg. Another potentially wobbly one!
- Squats with lateral raise arms – Put ball behind your back against the wall. Feet a little forward, in wide or narrow stance, whichever feels best to you. Lower into squat, allowing bum to move away from ball at base of move, and keeping chest lifted. Go as low as your knees will allow. Contract bum to raise body back up whilst raising arms out to side to finish above head.
- Rear foot up lunge – Steady yourself by a wall, whilst putting laces of back foot up on front edge of ball. Some width between legs helps balance. Hips tucked under a little, chest lifted, lower body into static lunge, then push back up. Body weight distributed fairly evenly. Great hip opening exercise.
- Side knee tucks – Prone, shins up on ball, hands on floor directly under shoulders. Pull knees towards arms with a twist of the hips, alternating sides. The ball travels forward and back on a more or less straight line even though your knees are moving to left and right.
- Dips – Ball up against wall or sofa. Sit on front edge of ball, hands on top of ball, fingers facing forward. Feet out ahead, legs bent. Keep upright posture as you take your weight off the ball and lower hips down, keeping elbows in, shoulders away from ears. Apply pressure back towards wall / sofa to help with balance. Straighten arms to raise back up.
- Back extensions – Prone, hips on ball, feet apart against a wall. Arms crossed chest (or out in front for more challenge) raise and lower upper body from ball, keeping spine long.
Have fun. Lisa