Fitness Ball Exercises

Exercise balls or fitness balls are quite the rave these days. Almost all kinds of fitness regimen have their own routines to perform with the ball. And depending on the fitness discipline, the ball's name also varies. Among its numerous names is balancing ball, stability ball, and gym ball.

The following exercises are aerobic and nature and therefore promote cardiovascular fitness. Cardiovascular well-being is important for the health of the heart and proper blood circulation. So let's get into the core of fitness with these fitness ball exercises:

1. Front raise. Holding the ball in front of you, stand in proper or straight posture with feet hip-width apart. Raise or lift the ball directly above your head extending your arms. Gradually lower the ball back in front of you.

2. Lateral stretch. With your ball still at your front, keep your feet close together this time. Move the ball to one side with both hands holding it, while moving the leg on the opposite side to form a 45-degree angle with toes pointed. Gradually move the ball back to the center. This time, repeat the same steps for the other pair of arms and leg.

3. Overhead stretch. Lift the ball to the ceiling so that it is over the head. Slightly bend towards one side to feel the stretch on the side of your arms and your stomach. Hold the position for awhile and then release by slowly shifting the ball to face the ceiling above your head. Apply the same steps to your other side.

4. Overhead curl. Extend you arms to the ceiling lifting the ball over and above your head. Gradually lower the ball towards your back and lift it towards the ceiling to return to the original position.

5. Lower lateral stretch. Hold the ball in front of you with your feet hip-width apart. Move the ball towards your lower side across the hip. Move back the ball towards your center to return to starting position and then perform the routine on the other side.

6. Upper lateral stretch. Keep holding your ball in front of you and your feet hip-width apart. Lift the ball to your upper side above your ear. Return the ball to your front for the first position and then repeat the exercise on the other side.

Do not limit yourself with these cardiovascular routines when using your ball. The fitness ball is quite versatile. You can do strength training with it. Also, core training uses the exercise ball for all its routines to strengthen the midsection or abdomen. Try some of these fitness programs to improve your strength, athletic performance, or simply for your self-esteem.