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Get on the Ball!


Posted by Heather J.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my renewed quest to strengthen and stabilize my core. One week in, I remain committed, and am rediscovering the benefits of the stability ball. (I used to own one, until my cat deflated it with her little claws.) Stability balls, aka fitness balls or swiss balls, add a balance component to your workout that doesn?t come from machines or floor exercises. Since you're simultaneously balancing on the ball while performing a crunch, for example, you're working the stabilizing muscles in your pelvis, back, and abs. It's win-win! You can do basic crunches, squats, lunges, pelvic tilts, and numerous other moves with the aid of the ball. But before you begin, make sure to use a ball that's appropriate for your size (smaller people require smaller balls). Any fitness instructor can help you find the right one; or, if you purchase one to use at home, there's usually a size chart on the package to guide you, as well as a booklet of exercises. Other tips to keep in mind: avoid moves that cause pain, and if you have any existing injuries or medical conditions, make sure to get your doctor's go-ahead before launching into a program. Also, keep it away from your cat. For examples of basic exercises, visit this link: http://exercise.about.com/library/blbeginnerball.htm
 
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