How to Use a Yoga Ball Effectively

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One of the most common exercise tools that are popping up everywhere is the exercise ball. They are in gyms, holistic pregnancy offices, and even on the shelves of every department store. Occasionally you might even run across a Yoga Ball as a substitute for the traditional office chair.

So what is the big deal? For starters utilizing a Yoga ball properly increases your strength and flexibility. Well, that’s great, but how do I use one the right way? The key here is to ensure that you have a sense of balance while working on the ball.

For starters play with the ball to test out your balance. This will give you a taste for how the ball works with your body. Begin by bouncing on the ball with your feet planted squarely on the floor. As you get the feel for the ball, you can advance this playtime to bounce from side to center to side. Not only does this increase your sense of balance and get you accustomed to the ball, but it also raises your heart rate to a cardio level.

Now that you have a feel for the ball, it is time to move it up to the next level. For starters, you will want to work with beginner’s poses. These are poses that have at least two wide points an equal distance apart. For example, with the bouncing on the ball your feet should be an equal distance apart and in a straight line. This creates a triangle, which is a stable platform for just about any movement.

For the upper body, the triangle would be made with the hands while the abdomen or legs are balanced on the ball. The hands should be placed squarely on the floor an even distance apart and directly under the shoulders.

There are also poses that use the ball while you lie firmly on your back. One of these is the double leg stretch. You alternate trading the ball between the legs and the feet. This enhances hand-eye coordination while working on toning the core muscles.

For the poses that require your feet on the ball, the key to maintaining balance is to place your arms along side the body at a 45-degree angle. For a more extreme workout, the arms can be brought in closer to the body. But be warned, this is for the advanced practitioner.

As long as you continue to keep the balance between your point on the ball and your stability points that connect to the floor, you will be able to properly utilize the Yoga ball to advance your exercise experiences.

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