Have a Ball Getting FIT - FIT Human Performance

Have a Ball Getting FIT


April 29, 2012

In the fitness industry exercise equipment comes and goes like most other fads and trends. Every year the ‘miracle’ machine comes out! Guaranteed (don’t forget to read the fine print) to make us thin and fit in 5 minutes a day.  There are countless brands on the market in this day and age…and the truth is, they are all alike.  Built with different names, colors, designs, and perhaps material, and all with the focus on getting our attention and our money!  Companies continue to do this for one main reason…to get you to buy something new. I applaud the engineers and entrepreneurs that create “the new”… but as the bodies that need exercise we should acknowledge that it all comes down to our leverage systems.  Really! Fact of the matter is the human body has not changed.  For thousands of years, the only constant with exercise is the human body.   

Ok, so here is another fact that I want to share with you. A mode/method of exercise that has been utilized for decades and is still growing in popularity and respect.  BALLS!  There is the exercise ball, the plyo-ball, the fitness ball, the big-ball, the slam ball and even the gym-ball. AND of course there are countless brands, colors, textures, material, and even shapes.  The best part is that the tool, not machine, is perfect.  The ball is used all around the globe to do exercise with.  And what a perfect tool for exercise! 

F.I.T. Human Performance uses Exercise balls with every client, every day because it is one of the best methods for creating a strong core and better balance.  There are countless exercises that can be performed safely and effectively with just a ball and you!  As an example, sit on a ball with proper posture and simply lift one leg.  Sounds easy?  Maybe, but the good news is that you just created abdominal contractions without thinking about it … your  CORE is at work. And that’s just the start of it!  Simple moves with a ball dynamically work the rectus abdominus, erector spinea, obliques, and transverse abdominus perfectly for tone and stabilization.  We do it every day here and you can too!  So, get your soft mushy butt off of your soft cushy chair and sit on a ball!   

Here are just a few basic examples of exercises you can do with a ball. 

Back Extension

Position the ball under your hips and lower torso with the knees straight or bent.  With hands behind the head or behind back, slowly roll down the ball.  Lift your chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line.  Make sure your body is in alignment (i.e., head, neck, shoulders and back are in a straight line), your abs are pulled in and that don’t hyperextend the back. Repeat for 12-16 reps. 

Hip Extension

Lie down with feet heels propped on ball.  Keeping abs tight, slowly lift your hips off the floor (squeezing the glutes) until body is in a straight line.  Hold for a few seconds and lower.  For added intensity, lift the hips and then take one leg off the ball, hold for a moment and lower.  Repeat for 12-16 reps.

Ball Balance

Position the ball under your abs and hips, hands on the floor and legs straight and off the floor.  Hold that position, keeping your body in a straight line, abs pulled in.  Working to stay balanced, slowly raise your right arm out to the side, taking care not to roll or allow any part of your body to collapse. Hold briefly, lower the arm and repeat on the other side.  Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating arms.  

Butt Lift

Lie on the ball with the head, neck and shoulders supported, knees bent and body in a table-top position.  Lower the hips towards the floor without rolling on the ball.  Squeeze the glutes to raise hips until body is in a straight line like a bridge.  Hold weights on the hips for added intensity and make sure you press through the heels and not the toes.  Repeat for 12-16 reps. 

Ab Roll

Place your hands on the ball in front of you, arms parallel.  Pulling your belly button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward, rolling the ball out as far as you can without arching or straining the back.  Push the elbows into the ball and squeeze the abs to pull the body back to start.  Avoid this move if you have back problems.  Repeat for 12-16 reps. 

Ball Rotation

Lie with ball under shoulders and lower back and hold a light-medium medicine ball over the chest.  Hold your body in a straight line from hips to knees.  Tightening your glutes and abs, slowly twist your body to the left, sweeping med ball parallel to the floor, then back up, repeating on the other side.  Watch your knees on this move and allow them to turn naturally with the body so you don’t injure them.  Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating sides. 

Ball Twist

Get into a pushup position with the feet on either side of the ball (turning your ankles so that you are hugging the ball).  Hold body in a straight line with abs pulled in, hips straight and hands directly under shoulders.  Slowly rotate the ball to the right while trying to keep your shoulders level, then to the left.  Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating. 

In good health, 


Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase. ~Joseph Pilates