Last week we talked about the benefits of using the stability ball especially for the core. To further that conversation we can discuss leg work, and when using the stability ball we can still engage that same core!
When buying or selecting the right stability ball, remember it’s all about the exercise you want to do. A good rule of thumb to consider is when you are sitting on the ball your hips and knees rest at a 90 degree angle. These balls come in a variety of sizes. The most common sizes that you can almost never go wrong with are 55cm and 65cm balls. And they are best used when fully inflated!
You will see in the video that when I have my leg on the stability ball, I can keep my pelvis straight. If the ball is too big, you cannot maintain your posture or alignment. If the ball is too small, you just won’t get the full benefit, but it will not take you out of alignment. So better too small than too big. When you are at the gym, test out different size balls to see what’s right for you. When purchasing a stability ball for home use, if you are under 5 feet tall a 45cm ball is generally best. 5’1” to about 5’8” choose a 55cm ball. If you are 5’9” – 6’2” choose 65cm ball. And if you are over 6’3” try a 75cm ball.
But remember that different exercises do well with different ball sizes. These are just general guidelines.
It’s a great idea to hold something while you are learning to use your body with the stability ball. Practicing good balance is just that. Be in good balance. If you are wobbling all over the place you are not practicing what you are looking to achieve. Use a bar, a foam roller, a hockey stick, or a wall to gently hold on to. This keeps you confident as well, while you focus on the actual exercise.
When performing leg exercises with the stability ball focus on holding your trunk still. You can hold dumbbells, bars, bands, whatever you like to make the exercise more advanced. Try using one leg and two legs. Try combining upper body and lower body exercises together! Be creative and have fun!
In the video I demonstrate how to do leg curls, squats, 1 leg squats and lateral one leg squats, and how to use the ball in place of a bench. I love using the ball this way! You will have to hold your body with much more control than being on the bench. You might not be able to lift as heavy, but you can alternate between using a bench and using the stability ball.
If you are looking for more ideas, want to make sure you are working out correctly, or need motivation, let’s connect – even virtually!