Blair Moreau of Mercy Health Partners shares his tips for non-traditional weight training.
(WZZM)-- Something just doesn't seem natural doing weight training on an unstable surface like an exercise ball.
Many of us are so structured in our exercise programs that we feel the only surface we should be weight training on is a solid stable weight bench. However, using an exercise ball will stress your body to produce better muscle development. According to the American Council of Exercise, the main purpose of weight training using an exercise ball is to develop better coordination between muscle groups. Weight training on an exercise ball will create strength within your body as it activates every muscle group, as it is needed. Here is an excellent stability ball weight training exercise program.
• Chest Press: Hold the exercise ball as you sit down to make sure it does not move. Reach down and pick up your dumbbells. Slowly and cautiously walk your feet forward and lay back until the ball supports your upper back, right around your shoulder blades. Hold your dumbbells with elbows out; your arm from shoulder to elbow should be parallel to the ground. Push the weights up; make sure you breathe out at this time and then slowly lower back down to the starting position while you are breathing in. Perform as many repetitions as desired or to failure.
• Shoulder Press: For safety hold the ball as you sit down. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells until they are at the same level as your ears with your palms facing forward. Press them up over your head until your arms are straight (breathe out at this time). Slowly and in control, lower them back to ear level (breathe in at this time). Perform a desire number of repetitions or to failure.
• Seated Tricep Extensions: Triceps are incorporated with the chest and shoulder press exercises. For safety hold the exercise ball as you sit down. Grab one dumbbell, holding it with both hands, at one end. Raise it up over your head, arms straight. Only move at the elbows as you lower the weight down behind your head (breathe out), then lift it back up to the starting position while breathing in. Perform a desired number of repetitions or to failure.
• Seated Bicep Curls: For safety grab the exercise ball while sitting so it does not move. Grab each dumbbell and hold them down by your side. Face your palms forward and keep the elbows tucked into your side. Raise the weights at the elbow, keeping the upper arm still, until the elbows are fully bent. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Perform a desired number of repetitions or to failure.
The awesome thing is that your core has been getting an excellent workout with every one of these exercises, but finish the workout with:
• Weighted Crunches: Again for safety hold the exercise ball as you sit down. Grab onto the dumbbell and walk you feet forward and layback until the exercise ball supports you lower and mid back. Holding the dumbbell straight above you, crunch as you would with a regular exercise ball crunch. Make sure you reach for the ceiling every time you crunch (contract) your abdominal muscles. According to a study published in American Council of Exercise, weighted exercise ball crunches activate almost 50% more muscle than the traditional crunch.
Break out of your comfortable, traditional exercise zone and use an exercise ball to do your weight training.