Three exercises with an exercise ball Three exercises with an exercise ball

If you have one in your house, take advantage of it.

Exercise balls (or Pilates balls) are useful for building muscle. To use it, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following exercises. Keep your current health conditions in mind before trying them.

  1. Sit-ups. Sit on the ball with your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. With your back straight, cross your arms over your chest and tighten your abdominal muscles. Carefully, lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles contracting. Hold for three breaths and then return to your initial position.
  2. Squats. Hold the ball in front of you. With your back straight, abdomen tight, and your arms parallel to the floor, bend your knees to a squat. Keep your knees from extending beyond your feet. With your knees bent, rotate your torso and turn with the ball to the left. Hold for three breaths and then turn to the right.
  3. Plank. Lay on the ball on your stomach with your feet touching the floor. Carefully, move forward until you are touching the floor with your hands, and continue moving forward until the ball touches your upper thighs. Your shoulders should be in line with your hands, your abdominal muscles tight, and your feet suspended over the floor. The idea is to balance here, supported by your hands and the ball. Hold for three breaths and then return to the initial position.

To start, do five repetitions of each exercise. You can gradually increase to 10 and then 15 repetitions.

Read also:How to read heart rate during exercise?