Similar to the Total Body Conditioning Workout, this workout is another routine I use in my Muscle Works class at Our Y in Sarasota, FL. If you are exercising at home, and who isn’t nowadays, a stability ball is a must-have tool for your in-home fitness needs. Standing, seated, kneeling, side-lying, prone, supine, the ball allows you to change body position to better interact with the downward force of gravity. The ball also provides resistance, stability and balance challenges. Stability balls can easily be ordered online at prices between $10.00 and $30.00, and they typically come with a small hand pump. The ball I am using in the video is available in the PoolFit Marketplace (linked to Amazon) for around $11.00. It is advertised as anti-burst and comes with its own pump.
Stability Ball Recommendations
Exercise balls need to be properly inflated in order to be most effective. Balls inflated to their maximum potential will be exceptionally firm, providing the greatest challenge. Exercise balls that are not properly inflated will be squishy and provide less challenge. When you sit on a stability ball, your hips should be parallel to your knees or slightly above them. Ball sizing is also very important. There are typically four sizes offered in stability balls.
45 cm ball: Height under 5.0 ft
55 cm ball: Height 5.0 – 5.5 ft
65 cm ball: Height 5.6 – 6.2 ft
75 cm ball: Height over 6.2 ft
Exercise tubing is also something I highly recommend for your in-home fitness needs. A blend of rubberized and weighted resistance is ideal for muscle conditioning. The ability to anchor tubing provides opportunities to target muscles in ways that hand-weights could not achieve. The size/thickness of the tubing is important. The brand of tubing that I am using in the video is by REEHUT and sold individually in the PoolFit Marketplace (linked to Amazon). The pricing depends on the size. In the video, I am using the 4lb tubing and it is priced at around $17.00. I strongly recommend the 4lb (light) version for this workout. The 12lb tubing can be considered for exceptionally strong people. The heavier tubing limits range of motion and fatigues muscles too quickly. Always check your tubing for wear and tear. They will start breaking down over repeated use. If you see a small tear, STOP using it and get a new one.
WATCH BALL & TUBING RECOMMENDATIONS
WORKOUT-AT-GLANCE: STABILITY BALL & TUBING WORKOUT
This 55-minute workout features a compilation of some of my favorite ball & tubing exercises and is designed to challenge all of the major muscle groups.
Segment 1: Warm-up
The warm-up in this video is an example of cardio ball choreography. When stability balls were all the rage in group fitness 20 years ago, we had entire classes devoted to cardio ball. Keep in mind, this is a muscle conditioning workout and you can pair it up with cardio activities such as walking or water fitness. If you want to skip the cardio ball warm-up, just forward the video to 4:55.
Segment 2: Anterior Upper Body & Inner Thigh
Anchoring the tubing behind the chest or under the foot behind the body in a lunge stance, this segment targets the front muscles of the upper body – chest, anterior deltoid and bicep. The triceps are also recruited in the tubing chest presses. The ball is then used to target both chest and inner thigh. The segment wraps up with my favorite inner thigh exercise using the ball.
Segment 3: Posterior Upper Body & Outer Thigh
Anchoring the tubing in front of the body and under the lead foot in a lunge stance allows us to target the posterior muscles of the upper body – latissimus, triceps and posterior deltoids. The middle back muscles are then targeted with a seated row on the ball. This segment wraps up with a brutal outer thigh exercise performed side-lying on the ball.
Segment 4: Bicep & Tricep
Anchored below for biceps and above for triceps, this segment demonstrates just how challenging rubberized resistance can be and how it differs from traditional weight training.
Segment 5: Core & Lower Body
Supine, prone and lying on the floor, this segment by far best demonstrates the versatility of the stability ball. Performing crunches in supine position on the ball adds balance and stability, thus recruiting more muscle fibers than traditional floor crunches. The video includes directives for increasing and decreasing the challenge to the core muscles and the low back. The two prone exercises target glutes with hip extension and lower back with spinal extension. The three exercises performed lying on the floor target hamstrings, quadriceps and inner thigh.
Segment 6: Ball Stretch
The video concludes with a 10-minute ball stretch. Once again, the versatility of the ball is showcased with creative stretches in various positions on the ball.
If you like these in-home workouts, please pass on the PoolFit or Fitmotivation site to your class participants as there is no charge to join either site for 30-days. Your students can enjoy the land workouts or if they have their own pool – they can follow along with the water exercise videos. An app is being launched for PoolFit in early May that allow users to take their iPad or iPhone to the pool without the need of wi-fi.
The next 3 videos to post in the coming weeks will be geared towards aquatic education and will include AEA CEC-Approved quizzes. It is my sincere hope that Fitmotivation and PoolFit can keep both fitness professionals and fitness consumers connected to their passion and connected to exercise during these stress times.
Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.