Learn how to get the most out of your stability ball by incorporating resistance bands to optimize your workout.
Getting familiar with a stability ball
Stability balls have been tried and true exercise tool used for decades to assist in the strengthening of your core muscles. It is often used to focus on exercises that work the abdominal muscles, such as a crunch or knee tuck. Originally designed by an Italian plastics manufacturer in 1963, it was first known as a "Swiss Ball" and it was an aid to use during Physical Therapy by a physiotherapist who at the time was working in Switzerland.
For me, I often use stability balls while stretching, performing crunches, and sometimes even lifting weights. By balancing on the ball while performing these exercises, you will optimize your results by engaging more of your core muscles which are required for you to maintain your balance. When starting out with stability balls, the first thing you will want to do is to find the ball that best fits you. You can find more information on that you can check out our stability ball sizing tips.
Incorporating Resistance Bands with your Stability Ball
A great example of this concept is a basic row. Sometimes while traveling, I wouldn't have access to everything I wanted for a workout, so I would have to get creative. You can actually emulate the experience you would achieve using a rowing machine by incorporating a stability ball for a seated row. To begin, you will need your resistance bands (or even our Resistance Tubes for a lighter workout) and the stability ball. With your bands securely anchored, sit on the ball with your feet firmly on the floor. Make sure that you are comfortable and maintaining your balance by focusing on the engagement of your core muscles. Next, reach for your band with both hands. With a firm grip, pull the band in towards your sides and hold. Slowly release and return to your starting position and repeat.
Another favorite of mine was swapping resistance bands for dumbbells. When I didn't have access to dumbbells, using bands for a bicep curl was a great fit. To take it a step further, doing a bicep curl on a stability ball is actually more challenging than you might think. Because you're required to maintain your balance on the ball while doing your curl, in addition to your bicep, you are actually simultaneously working out your abs, legs, and back. The best part of this is by having your full set of bands you can customize this exercise even more by using a band with as little or as much resistance as you would like. Make sure that you find a resistance that is comfortable yet still a challenge for you.
These exercises are great options when you are short on gym equipment at home or on the road but still want to get a great workout in. For more ideas on a wide range of full body exercises you can do with your stability ball check out Total body workout with bands on the ball. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on these basic moves to customize it to your fitness level.
I am not a medical doctor, nor do I hold a professional license in the medical field. The information presented is solely based on my experiences as a professional athlete and for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician prior to any new or changing fitness endeavors. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities promoted by this site.
Author Bio - Michael Lucas
Before finishing his professional baseball career as a pitcher, within the Chicago White Sox organization, Michael Lucas was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Growing up, he was always involved in sports, specifically baseball. As he progressed as a pitcher, he started to become more passionate about the mechanics and the things he considered to be controllable. Naturally, strength and conditioning became a focus of his as he progressed through being a 4-year starter at Division 1 Xavier University to starting his professional baseball career with the Chicago White Sox organization. The son of a chiropractor and teacher, Michael has been aware of mechanics and the importance of proper movements even before having success with baseball. The cross pollination of his athletic career alongside his passion of mechanics and teaching gives him a unique perspective on the development of athletes.
While teaching and training remain a focus of Michaels, his absorption lies within helping athletes achieve their goals through the quality products and services provided by Shelter Fitness; a leading e-commerce fitness company co-founded by Michael and his former teammate at Xavier University and brother, Matt Lucas. Michael continues to challenge himself both personally and professionally through multiple channels. He remains involved in professional baseball through various professional organizations and high-level relationships. Michael currently resides in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania with his wife and children.