Exercise Ball Crunches and its other Benefits

exercise ball

gym workout with exercise balls

You probably seen different workout equipments in the gym or in your favorite workout TV show such as resistance chair exercises, treadmill, weights and other cardio machines. For sure, you are also particular with this simple but effective workout tool that can give you a total body exercise – exercise ball.

An exercise ball or commonly known as “Swiss Ball”, was developed by Aquilino Casani way back in 1963. Aquilino is an Italian plastic manufacturer where he perfected a process for molding large plastic balls which are puncture-resistant. These balls were first applied in physiotherapy field led by Mary Quinton, mainly for treatment programs for newborns and infants.

Later on, the use of exercise balls are now being used for treatment of various orthopedic and medical problems. Today, it is widely being marketed and used by fitness trainers for workout lessons and other physical activity classes. The modern exercise ball is made up of soft elastic with a diameter of approximately 35 to 85 centimeters and filled with air. The following are the corresponding sizes that are suitable for your height.

55 cm – 4’11” – 5’4″
65 cm – 5’5″ – 5’11”
75 cm – 6’0″ – 6′ 7″

The air pressure can be modified thru a valve stem, which you can either fill more air or deflate it depending on your workout preference. Exercise ball is used in athletic training, physical therapy and as an exercise equipment. Other names of exercise ball are birth ball, balance ball, body ball, fitness ball, gym ball, physioball, Pezzi ball, sports ball, stability ball, therapy ball, yoga ball and pilates ball.

Exercise Ball Uses and Benefits

If you want to challenge yourself with regards to physical fitness or losing weight, then you need variations to your workout program. Using an exercise ball is one perfect way to create diversities on your exercise routines. This simple equipment offers a total body workout that can help tone your muscles, improves posture and develop extreme flexibility.

An exercise ball is a versatile tool that can be used in any known training programs. This includes the following:

  • Abdominal exercises – helps on effective crunches and twists for abdominal muscles
  • Flexibility – exercise ball is perfect for both pilates and yoga exercises
  • Weight training – can be used as your stability ball bench or weight bench which helps add movement difficulty when lifting weights
  • Miscellaneous benefits – this includes playing and sitting that helps improve posture and balance

Exercise ball is an enjoyable tool for your workout program and it’s not also expensive. You can use it at home or at the gym. Incorporating many ball exercises into your workout routines will not just give you diversities, but will offer multiple health benefits as well.

This tool primarily targets core muscles that are essential for stability and good posture. This benefit is not emphasized thoroughly if you are using a fixed position or idle fitness machine.

Exercise Ball Crunches

Dreaming of a flat stomach? Many people are spending thousands of dollars just to trim their waistline or produce a monster six-packs. Well, the best way to reduce some belly fats is to work your abdominal muscles to strengthen its core. Using an exercise ball can help you achieve flat tummy because that is one of its main benefits. Presenting the ball crunch routines.

Ball crunches works on the rectus adominis muscle (muscles areas along the abdomen) which produce a fat slimming action in your waistline. Not only that, it can also produce perfect body balance and stability by working on other areas of your body core during your abdominal ball crunch routines.

The usual crunch

ball crunch

You can actually practice more types of abdominal crunches or routines using an exercise ball. The most basic would be lying on the ball and try to completely balance your lower back before doing any crunches. Then push your arms behind your head and rise slowly at first few repetitions to make sure that the ball stays in place. Once you achieve balance with the ball, you can do more reps on your natural pace of abdominal crunches. Do this ab crunch for 15 reps.

Side crunch

oblique exercise

Image credit: www.davidlasnier.com

Oblique or side crunch can also be applied using an exercise ball. Based on the image above, just position yourself in center of the ball lying sideways. Remember to acquire balance first before you do more reps. Focus your workout on your obliques for muscle development in that area. Repeat for 15 reps for both sides.

Stability ball crunch

stability ball crunch

Image credit: www.orthopedics.about.com

This ball ab exercise is simple and is just like the traditional crunch. Just place both of your feet on the exercise ball with close legs just like what the image shows. Do sit ups for about 15 reps. You can also do some side sit ups while in this position so crunch varieties are all possible.

Reverse stability ball crunch

reverse stability crunch

Image credit: www.coreperformance.com

The reverse stability ball crunch is one effective and intense ab workout. Just position yourself similar to stability ball crunch but clipping the ball with both your legs (see the image above). You then pull your legs up instead of upper body doing the crunch. Start slow at first as this can hurt your lower back if you are new to this routine.

You may also do reverse stability ball crunch with your both of your legs straight instead of curved, clipping the ball with your feet. Start pulling your the ball up with legs straight. This routine is much tougher than the image above but gives good result. Both routines are great for toning your legs and lower abdominal part.

Weighted exercise ball crunch

weighted exercise ball crunch

Image credit: followthelita.wordpress.com

This ball crunch routine is for those seasoned workout enthusiasts. The position is similar to traditional exercise ball crunch with the back lying at the center of the ball. This time, the arms are equipped with weights (size depends on your preferences or ability). Just like the image above, do traditional crunches together with single or two dumbbells. This routine offers multiple benefits which works out the abs, back and arm muscles.

Ball Crunches summary

Using exercise ball is a perfect way to lose weight, tone muscles, gives balance, posture and improves your over all health. Exercise ball is one of the most complete workout equipment that can also be used in Yoga, pilates, weight training and many other workout programs.

Before you start any exercise with an exercise ball, you have to do some stretching first to prepare your body for exercise. This helps prevent any unwanted injuries such as back problems and muscle tare. Also, consult a fitness trainer or your physician if you want to apply strict and consistent exercise ball workout for your weight loss program. It will further prevent any inconveniences for you and will ensure your workout success.

Do you have any positive experiences regarding exercise balls? If so, please share it with us via commenting below. Your opinions are valuable to other readers of this site who seeks more information on how to lose weight via proper workout program. You may even win a friend once you interact with fellow people with the same interests.

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Noah Mark

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