Ball Exercises – 9-12 inches in diamater
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Below are some of my favorite ball exercises from the Sit and Be Fit television series. Ball exercises are great for improving:
1) Dexterity/coordination (eye & hand)
2) Strength (upper & lower extremity & abs)
3) Flexibility (shoulders & trunk)
Begin by sitting in a chair and getting into good postural alignment. Do each exercise on the right and left sides.
Inner Thigh Squeeze
Place ball between knees. Lift your heels off the floor. Maintain this position, squeeze that ball 10 times, return to starting position.
Place ball between elbows. Put fingers together in tabletop position, bring elbows to just below shoulder height, squeeze ball for a moment 10 times, return to starting position.
Hold ball between both hands. Using your fingers, squeeze the ball 5 seconds, relax and repeat 10 times.
Place ball on floor between feet. Keeping heels flat on floor, squeeze ball between your feet, holding for count of 5. Repeat 10 times.
Figure 8 Moves
Hold ball in both hands over your head, swing ball down to left hip, bring back overhead, swing down to right hip, repeat 10 times.
Sit tall in your chair holding ball in both hands with arms outstretched. Raise right foot to try to touch the ball making sure to keep your back straight. Alternate legs 10 times 10 times each.
Sit in firm chair holding ball in front of your lower stomach. Squeeze ball 5 to 10 seconds. Tighten your buttocks as you squeeze the ball, relax & repeat 10 times. Try with leg flutter kicks.
Back Squeeze–Place ball between low back and chair. With feet flat on floor, take a deep breath. Now squeeze ball against the back of the chair as you breath out.
Hold ball between both hands on your lap. Reach the ball as high as possible overhead and then lean back to try to touch an imaginary wall behind your chair. Return ball to your lap & repeat 5 to 10 times.
Bounce ball with both hands between your legs. Try doing this looking straight ahead. Try bouncing with one hand while looking straight ahead, catching it with both hands.
Throw ball into air and catch. Alternate throwing the ball up straight and then to each side.