Sustaining a trim midsection can actually do more than looking great. It will improve your overall health and live longer. Strong core muscles make single activities easy.
The gym ball, also called the stability ball, is a good tool for exercise to flatten your stomach, strengthen your body and improve your core. A study in 2014 found that adults who did 20 minute gym ball exercise improved strength in their core and back.
Exercise with the ball will not just lose belly fat but it may also help recover from chronic back pain.
- Strong Core Muscle Benefits
- The Faster Way To Get Flat Stomach
- How to Find The Right Size of Gym Ball
- Effective Stability Exercise For Lower Abs
- Frequently Ask Questions
Strong Core Muscle Benefits
It pays to get core muscles in shape. Why? The muscle around your trunk and pelvis connects to the upper and lower body responsible for how well your arms and legs function. Core is used in every activity like running, carrying, playing sports or when just simply doing house chores, that means it supports everything that you do.
Strong core trains the muscles from your pelvis, lower back, hips to abdomen to work together. Leading to better balance and stability. Hence, it can help prevent injuries during physical activity.
If you allow your muscle core to get weak, you might feel standing up as a challenge.
So it’s very important to find an abs workout that focuses on the abdomen.
The Faster Way To Get Flat Stomach
Everyone loves to find an easy way to trim those extra inches in the stomach. Usually the most common things that prevent us from having a flat stomach is the body fat or abdominal separation which happens after pregnancy.
If your goal is to flatten your stomach, unfortunately diet alone is not enough to target belly fat, you may need to incorporate exercise that will focus on your core like an abs exercise using a gym ball.
How to Find The Right Size of Gym Ball
It is essential to find the right size gym ball to effectively perform ball exercise for a flat stomach. Although careful selection is needed, consultations with professionals are not always possible. Some trainers set up guidelines when choosing the proper size.
When you sit upright in a gym ball, your feet should be flat on the floor. Your knees are level or pelvis is slightly lower, able to create a 90-degree angle with an even weight distribution.
Height alone is not only the factor of selection, we also need to consider the weight. Gymballs come from five different diametrical sizes.
- 45cm 5’ under
- 55cm 5’1 – 5’8
- 65cm 5’9 – 6’2
- 75cm 6’3 – 6’7
- 85cm 6’8 and taller
Effective Stability Exercise For Lower Abs
We already know how important it is to have a strong core. In fact, this may be challenging to maintain the strength and stability in the body, especially when we get older. Luckily, there are stomach exercises that we can try with the gym ball.
1. AB Ball Crunch
This is one of the basic ball exercises that primarily target the abdominal muscles. The muscles in the abdomen are responsible for the six-pack look.
To do this, sit on the ball and walk on your feet, until you are lying on your back. Make sure that your thigh is at the right angle and your feet are directly under your knees. Once you feel comfortable in the position, put your hands behind your head. This will provide support to your head. Make sure that your spine is not curled up. Keep your muscle core engaged. Bring your shoulder up towards the sky then lower back to the starting position slowly. Do this 10 times.
2. Ball Back Extension
In this exercise your glute, spinal, hamstrings and back will work together, focusing on your strength.
To do this, Lie face down on the gym ball with your feet against a wall or bench. Put your head behind your head. Lift your torso upward by bending your glutes, hamstring and lower back, until your back will form a straight line. Pause for one second then slowly back to the normal position.
3. Reverse Plank
When this exercise done correctly using a ball gym will strengthen your core. Especially your muscles in your lower back, glutens, as well as your hamstrings. With the right support, you will also feel the tension in your abs.
To do this, start by sitting on the ball, then roll your body down until your upper body and back are on the gym ball. Keep your body in a straight line. Move your heels away from the ball and try to keep your feet close together.
4. Ball Push Ups
This exercise targets your chest, shoulders and butt, it stabilizes your body while you do the push-ups in the gym ball. Keeping your legs on the gym ball will improve your balance during the exercise.
To do this, first Lay your chest on the gym ball, then walk your hands forward until the gym ball rests under your legs. Hold your body in a straight line. Inhale when you bend your upper body towards the floor, and exhale as you push back to the starting position.
5. Ball Jack-knife
The ball jackknife is a good abs exercise, it improves the strength, flexibility, and balance in the upper and lower abdominal muscles. This will help you get six-pack abs. It may give you a challenging workout, but the basics are easy to learn.
To do this, lay down on your back with legs straight from head to heels. Keep your black flat, bend your legs and arms up to form a V. Then return to start.
6. Ball Leg lifts
Doing this exercise will develop your overall control and strength of the core body muscles. It will also improve your neutral spine position and lumbar mobility.
To do this, start lying at your back and face up with the gym ball between your legs. Place your hands on the floor, palms facing down. Engage your abs and squeeze your legs to hold the ball up off the floor up to 45-degree angle. Then slowly lower the ball down on the floor.
7. Ball Side-Crunch
According to study, crunches performed using gym ball exercise activate flexibility of abdominal muscles up to 28 to 38 percent. It also builds muscle in your stomach
To do this, lie sideways on top of a gym ball, then cross your arms in front of your body, Place your top foot on top of the other, use your side muscle to lift your body upward then slowly return to the starting position.
8. Ball Pikes
This exercise requires shoulder stability, balance and abdominal control to effectively flatten your stomach. Before you will be able to do this, you need practice and maintain a good plank position. This is one of the exercises that you may enjoy, it does require balance and stability.
To do this, position the ball under your thighs, and take a plank position. Find the right distance and stability to get a pike. Work forward on your hands and make sure the ball is under your knees. Slowly try to move further forward to get a higher pike. Do the inhale and exhale, feel the flowing motion, and engage your abdominal muscles to pull your hips.
9. Single Legged Superman
Another challenging position is the single legged superman. It requires control and balance. Primarily, this is great for strengthening the hips and legs, focusing on the gluten medius muscle.
To do this, kneel on the floor and stretch forward over the gym ball until you are lying over the ball with your chest slightly raised and center your waist over the top of the gym ball. Rest your hand on the floor in front of you. Gradually raise your hands up to shoulder length at the same time raise your one leg. Then hold for five seconds, lower your foot and raise the other foot. Try to avoid twisting your body.
10. Scissor Reverse Curl
Just like all the gym ball exercises listed, the scissor reverse curl is also an effective abdominal exercise that flattens your belly and strengthens your overall core.
To do this, lie your back on the floor with your arm straight at your side. Place the gym ball between the top of your single foot and heel of the other foot. Once you are steady, lift the ball up to the ceiling. Feel your buttocks slightly as you lift the gym ball.
Frequently Ask Questions
Are fitness balls good to sit on at work?
Normal office chair negatively affects the posture, especially if you are sitting improperly or in a slouched position. In fact, it may weaken your core strength and a number of health problems may start.
If you are experiencing the negative effects of an office chair, one of the best solutions is replacing your office chair with a gym ball. Some of the benefits of using the gym ball are:
- Burn calories.
- Relieve back pain
- Tone core muscle
- Breath better
- Motivates you to stretch
If you are sitting at the gym ball, it helps to encourage you to sit actively and improve your posture. However, still taking regular breaks from your workstation to stretch your legs is still the best.
Is sitting on an exercise ball good for the back?
The idea of sitting in the gym ball rather than sitting on a traditional chair is that the lack of stability of a gym ball encourages the user to improve muscle, increase core strength, improve posture and lessen the discomfort.
The gym ball does not actually support the muscle but instead it challenges them. If you always sit it increases the compression in your spine and requires engagement of the core muscle since you don’t have back support. Using this is relatively cheaper and easy to use to reduce lower back pain, strengthen the muscle around your spine and help prevent future injury.
Are exercise balls worth it?
Yes. A gym ball can be a great exercise tool for flat stomach and toning. Using it is an alternative to yoga and pilates. In fact, sitting alone on it will have a positive effect on balance, posture and health. There’s more to an exercise gym ball than you thought. Incorporating a gym ball in your daily exercise will add challenge to your routine. They are ideal to use at home and gym. Plus, it might ease labour pains if you sit on one before giving birth. The gym balls are versatile and can be used even by those people who are just starting out.
Contributed By Discover Your Nature
Fredrick Little is a freelance healthcare blogger and copywriter. He is currently a student of biology and biomedical engineering attending North Carolina A&T. He has a passion for fitness inspired by his own 100+ pound weight loss journey. Fredrick wants to make the world a better place, one post at a time