Versatile and cost-effective training to strengthen the core
Each week I always try to find new ways to motivate and encourage people to take up exercise and fitness – this week I thought we could take a look at fit-ball training.
Fit-ball training is something that you can incorporate into your daily exercise routine at gym or it you can use it at home in combination with some body weight exercises to create a workout that will not only give you a full body workout – but it will challenge and strengthen the core to produce great results. It will also create variety in your training session which is always a positive – as it helps to prevent boredom.
I love to incorporate regular fit-ball work into my own training, with my classes and clients. It is extremely versatile, I use it in weight sessions; circuit training, platies and I even sometimes just do a fit ball workout as a training session all on its’s own.
It is also a very cost effective piece of equipment – with an outlay of around $20 to get you started into fitness.
Benefits of Fit-ball training:
Here is a beginner Fit ball workout to get you started - if you’re new to the fit ball this little workout is a great place to start. If you need to use a wall or chair to assist with your balance.
Beginner – Perform one set of 10 of each of these exercises – as you get more confidence increase to 2 to 3 sets.
Ball Walks – Sit on the ball and place the hand on either side for balance or place them behind the head. Contract the abs and slowly walk the feet forward as you slide the back down onto the ball. Continue walking the feet forward until you’re in a bridge position with the head and shoulders supported by the ball, hips lifted. Walk all the way back until you’re seated again and repeat for 10 reps.
If this feels difficult, hold onto a wall for balance and only walk forward a bit at a time until you feel more comfortable.
Ball Squats – Prop the ball against a wall and position it behind your lower mid back. Walk the feet out a bit so that you’re leaning against the ball, feet about hip-distance apart. Bend the knees and lower into a squat, going as low as you can (no lower than 90 degrees) and keeping the knees behind the toes. Push through the heels to come back up and repeat for 10 reps.
Pelvic tilt on the Ball – Lie at an incline position on the ball with the hips down, head supported by the hands and feeling a stretch in the abs. Without rolling on the ball, squeeze the hips up then lower and repeat for 10 reps.
Back extension – Lie face down with ball under your hips and lower torso, resting on your knees. Place the hands behind the head or under the chin. Roll down the ball and then contract the lower back to lift the chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line. Do not hyperextend. Repeat for 10 reps.
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.