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How to Use an Exercise Ball for a Boot Camp Workout

Learn to use an exercise ball as part of a boot camp workout for women from personal trainer Rachel Buschert Vaziralli in this Howcast workout video.


This is a stability ball. And this is a great tool to take some of your more traditional exercises and progress them to a more higher level difficulty. So typically, for example, like a push-up. You would do a push-up either on the floor, or on a bench – a very stable surface. The purpose of a ball is to provide an unstable surface, so that now more accessory muscles have to fire to keep you balanced. And any time you’re less stable, your core muscles are going to need to engage more, to keep yourself in proper alignment. So for example, let’s take the push-up. If we did it on the ground, it would be much easier. You’re more stable. If we take that push-up, and now try to do it on this unsteady surface, again, a lot more muscles have to work to keep myself from falling on the floor. Taking the legs wide will give you more stability, so the harder version of this would be to take the legs all the way in. Or maybe even lift one leg up. As you can see, you gotta work much harder to maintain that position. And then you would perform the push-up – inhale down, exhale up – all the while trying to maintain that balance. And you actually even feel your arm muscles working more, because it’s harder to do it in that stable position. You could take a exercise like a bridge, where you lift your hips up, lower them down, working that posterior chain, your hamstrings, your glutes - stable surface. Now, I go ahead and put my feet on the ball. Do the same exercise. It’s going to be a lot less stable, so I have to focus on engaging my abdominals more to keep that ball steady. Also, a lot more range of motion. So that would just be an example of a couple exercises. And again, you can do anything on the ball, even a seated exercise, like a seated shoulder press. Instead of sitting or standing on a bench or on the floor, you sit on the ball. And now you’ve gotta work to keep yourself in a better posture, more engagement of your core, and just a more fun challenge.

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