Strength Training and Exercise Balls
Exercise balls are an important piece to any high-performance training program. The benefits they offer you will improve your strength and balance immensely. There are many unique ways to use an exercise ball in your workouts, from strength training to vestibular specific exercises; it will help boost your balance and coordination. In this article we will touch on strength training with an exercise ball.
During strength training, specifically for a motocross rider or other similar athlete, it is most important to workout in a way that challenges your muscles on multiple levels- developing not only pure strength but also strengthening your smaller synergistic (helping) muscles and stabilizer muscles. Using an exercise ball instead of a normal bench is one way to create a slight unstableness that will engage your helper and stabilizer muscles. For example- instead of performing a chest press on a bench, simply lay back on an exercise ball and perform the workout as usual. You will notice a great increase in stabilizer muscles becoming involved to help you stay balanced and in return this will increase strength in those muscles as well as improve your balance and core strength. The same goes for all other exercises that are performed on a bench, whether you are sitting or lying on it- ditch the bench and start using an exercise ball today to feel the benefits!
Some good ways to use an exercise ball for your upper body is push-ups and triceps dips. For the push-ups you would put your shins on top of the exercise ball to create a more difficult push-up. I personally recommend the Lineman MX Twister Push-up Bar for the most challenging push-up. If you are an advanced athlete you can even combine an exercise ball with the Lineman MX Twister Push-up Bar for an incredibly difficult push-up. Triceps dips off of an exercise ball are more difficult than dips off of a bench and that’s another way to increase balance while strength training.
For the lower body and core there are a number of ways to workout with an exercise ball- crunches, hamstring curls, back extension, plank, reverse ball bridge, and squats to name a few common exercises that can be performed using an exercise ball to enhance core strength and lower body strength.
Keep in mind that not all exercises can be performed with an exercise ball and sometimes more demanding workouts- especially when exercising with heavy weights- should not be performed with an exercise ball due to the chance of becoming unstable and causing injury. Though with proper form an exercise ball is a must have to get the full potential out of each workout.