Balance Ball Exercises are a quintessential part of a pilates regime. You will love it as I do. You might even consider joining the circus, you'll become so adept with the exercises! The pilates exercise ball is a wonderful device for improving your core strength and flexibility, & you'll never get bored with the exercises.
I use the pilates exercise ball to develop core stretgth which you can also read about here. Core muscles include abdominals, back and pelvic floor.
Another factor I have to mention is stress. We do a wonderful stretch on the ball, just lying backwards on it like a beached whale - its delicious!
Sometimes they're referred to as stability balls, but in fact, its more about instability. To begin with, you'll wobble a bit, and that's good, because you're using all those wonderful stabilising muscles - wonderful for balance and posture.
These pilates ball exercises are great for adding challenge to an exercise regime, subtle core muscle workouts, and even as a seat at your desk! Pilates ball exercises can also be used for light resistance exercises, and stretching.
This exercise begins with hands under head and head back on the ball. Feet wide apart for good balance. Then lift up, curling forward if you wish, and return head back on to the ball.
From this position, put your hands behind your head and lift body up from the ball, then lower. It helps if you put your feet up against a wall (on the floor of course.
If that's too easy, consider doing the Plank with your hips on top of the ball, the Hundreds with your legs on the ball, a roll up with the ball in your hands, or the large circles with the ball held between your ankles.
MORE BALL EXERCISES by clicking HERE
Other suggestions for using a pilates exercise ball include pelvic curls with legs propped atop the ball, or squats holding the ball in front, and lifting it above your head as you bend knees.
If you're thinking about buying a pilates exercise ball, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Having the wrong size ball can be detrimental to your workout. If you are very short, a 55cm diameter ball would be a good choice. I find the 65cm is perfect for most people, but if you are very tall perhaps you should use a 75cm.
Pilates exercise balls can be found in most places that deal in exercise equipment. Some balls come in a pack with a pump, but I find that my camping pump does a quicker job. If you're new to the ball, be sure to take a class in its use, or look for one that comes along with a workout video demonstrating its use. I am on to my second ball. That makes 2 in 12 years - not bad. Good quality helps.
Check out our collection of DVDs - you're sure to find one that is just right for you. There are 4: Core Strength Exercises, Stability Ball Exercises, Resistance Band Exercises & Stretching Exercises.