The exercise ball has many names. Some individuals refer to it as the Swiss ball, stability ball or a fitness ball. One thing for sure is that you will never have a shortage of exercise ball exercises to do. You will find loads of different exercises that you can do, from beginner to advanced. Almost all of the ball exercises are fun and some are insanely crazy to do.

The exercise ball is ideal for building your core muscles, it improves your stability, balance and will give you that elusive flat stomach, in the event that you work hard enough. Exercise ball exercises are excellent for toning and a total body workout.

Listed below are 5 popular and effective ball exercises, that you may immediately start with:

The “Seated Wall Roll” targets your buttocks, hamstrings and quadriceps. Place the exercise ball between a wall as well as your back. Keep your back straight and slowly start to squat, until you come in a sitting position. Return to your normal standing position. Constantly be sure you focus on posture and that you retain your back straight.

Abdominal Roll. This is a great exercise that targets your abs. Lie flat on the floor, with your back and bend your knees. Keep the feet flat on the ground and place the exercise ball together with your thighs. Roll the ball up to your knees, with the end of your fingers, like your are doing crunches. Be sure you keep your back flat on the floor and only lift your shoulders. Do as much repetitions as you can, but not a lot more than 10 to 12 repetitions at a time.

Opposite Limb Extension.That is almost just like the superman move. Lie down together with your stomach on the exercise ball and balance yourself with your feet and hands. Lift your left arm and right leg up. Keep your back straight as a plank and hold the position for 2 2-3 3 seconds. Get back to your resting position and alternate. This exercise is ideal for your spine, hamstrings and buttocks.

Balanced Push-Ups. I like this exercise a lot. It might seem daunting at first, but you’ll get use to it. In some ways this exercise is a lot easier than normal push ups. The exercise ball exercise gives your triceps, shoulders and abs a good workout. Runners will benefit from the shoulder workout. Put the hands on the exercise ball and rest your chest against your hands. Your body must form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Make sure your back is definitely in a straight line. Slowly lift yourself up from the ball like you are doing push-ups. I find these push-ups to become more gentle on the body.

The Superman. This exercise is fun and focuses on how long you can hold the position. Lie on the ball with your stomach and balance yourself with the end of your toes. Increase your arms up before you and pretend your are flying like superman. This exercise focuses on on your own back and buttocks. The target is to hold the “superman” position for as long as possible.

Now a small disclaimer. Consult your doctor first should you have any medical issues, concerns and back injuries. Please usually do not rush into this and take on too much. This is a common mistake newbies make. They would like to do everything in a single day, hoping to see results overnight. Remember it is not a race. Exercise ball exercises must turn into a way of life. It should be part of your day to day routine.

Always concentrate on form and posture. It helps to keep your abs tight once you do the ball exercises. Among the best tips I ever got is to do your exercises before a mirror. This way you can check if you are performing the exercises correctly.

So what are you waiting. Go get yourself a fitness ball and start working on your core.

Matt can be an avid runner and happens to be training for the 2011 Two Oceans marathon and 2011 Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. He could be a father of two, who keeps him very busy, and loves the outside.

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