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Pushups on the ball

by Kelvin
(London, UK)

To do pushups with the ball you need to lie forward onto an exercise ball and walk your hands forward until the ball is under your thighs.

Pull your abdominal muscles in and hold your back in neutral position.

Bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor while keeping your back straight.

Hold this for a second and then push yourself up.

What I like about this exercise is that you can make it as difficult or easy as you want depending where you place the ball.

This is a great exercise for shoulders and chest. It's more challenging than pushups on the floor 'cause you've got the instability of the ball to contend with. I first started doing these pushups with the ball under my thighs until I found I could get enough control without rolling off the ball. As my balance improved and I got stronger I found I could increase my reps and start with the ball under my shins. Now, 6 weeks since I started, I can do pushups on the ball with the ball under my feet. My next challenge is to work on doing pushups with only one foot support on the ball. You make it look so easy on your website.

Thanks for your efforts in creating this website. It's not often you find so much useful information in one place.

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Jackie Wolfe

What a wonderful and well-thought-out site!

I am working primarily with an older population, many of whom have joint replacements without the expected benefits. Many of these folks are functioning below what is often accepted as baseline. My first two ball "exercises" for them are
1: Learn to sit on the ball and feel what balance is and where your base is; and
2: Stand from the ball without using hands - also noticing which foot placement is most comfortable and what faulty habits one falls back on.
This leads to standing from a chair from one's core (without hands).

Thanks for your work.
Jackie

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Mid Back exercise ball stretch

by Judith Smith
(Texas)

Mid back exercise ball stretch

Mid back exercise ball stretch

I'm 28 years old and have a very stressful computer programming job. I spend up to 10 hours sitting in front of my monitor, sometimes eating all my meals there. Needless to say I began complaining of back pain. This was a constant burning and aching in the mid back region that got to the point where it would keep me up all night. I know I shouldn't have ignored it but in my world work always takes priority over my health. Finally I had to book off and I found a physical therapist.

Well, he was a god send. He showed me this exercise that saved my career! I sit on the exercise ball and lie back so that the ball is under my midback. I reach overhead and stretch. I'll hold this stretch for about 10 seconds and do about ten of them throughout the day. I feel like it gives my back muscles a chance to relax.

Also, I will sometimes use the ball instead of my desk chair for part of the day just to change it up. I feel by doing this I'm working different muscles and getting stronger.

I just love this stretch!
Thanks for giving me a forum, and keep up the great website.

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Exercise ball combination crunch/pushup

by Jim Wordsworth
(Syndney, Australia)

Using the exercise ball I like to combine the two exercises - the prone knees to chest crunch and the pushups on the ball:

1. Lie forward onto the exercise ball and walk yourself forward so that your exercise ball is under your feet. This is the starting position.
2. Tighten your abdomninal muscles and pull your knees to your chest
3. Hold this for a second
4. Extend your legs again so that they are straight
4. Lower your chest to the floor and push back up.
5. Repeat 1 to 4.

You may want to start with 3 sets of 5 until you build up your strength and work your way up to 3 sets of 12. I would also advise that anyone trying this be able to do the knees to the chest crunches and the pushups separately before they combine the two exercise ball exercises.

I like to teach this to my more advanced clients at the gym where I work as a personal trainer.

Jim Wordsworth
Personal Trainer

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