Where did the month of April go?? Either the world is speeding up or I’m slowing down, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s a little bit of both. Nevertheless, I apologize for being tardy with this early spring newsflash.

Since springtime always reminds me of baseball and summer sports, I thought it might be fun to give you some large ball exercises to practice. Ball exercises are great for dexterity, eye and hand coordination, upper and lower body strengthening and flexibility. The following exercises are done using a large ball (10-12 inches) while seated in a chair.

Figure 8 Moves – Trace a large figure 8 (lying on its side). Hold the ball between both hands and lift over your head. Swing the ball down to left hip, circle back up overhead, swing down to right hip and circle back up to overhead position. Repeat 5 times. Do this movement slow and controlled.

Inner Thigh Squeeze – Place ball between knees. Lift your heels off the floor. Maintain this position and squeeze the ball 10 times. Return to starting position. Repeat 5 times.

Foot Squeeze – Place ball on floor between feet. Keep heels flat on floor, toes slightly lifted, squeeze ball between feet, bringing toes of both feet closer together. Hold for count of 5. Repeat 5 times.

Back Squeeze – Place ball between your lower back and chair. With feet flat on floor, take a deep breath in. Now squeeze the ball against back of the chair while pulling the abdomen in, as you breathe out. Repeat several times.

Abdomen Squeeze – Sit in a firm chair holding ball in front of your lower abdomen. Press ball into abdomen 5 to 10 seconds. Tighten buttocks as you squeeze the ball, relax and repeat 10 times. Don’t forget to always breathe out anytime you are squeezing, pressing or tightening.

Back Extension – Hold ball between both hands on your lap. Lift the ball as high as possible overhead. Lean back slightly, lift the chest and try to touch an imaginary wall behind your chair, with the ball. Return ball to your lap and repeat 5 to 10 times.

Bouncing Ball – Bounce ball with both hands in front or between legs. Keep your eyes on the ball as you bounce 2 to 4 times. Now, try bouncing 4 times without looking at the ball, just look straight ahead. Repeat the series 4 times.

Until next time, keep your eye on the ball and I’ll do my best to keep my eye on the calendar!!

My warmest regards,

Mary Ann Wilson

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