Workout Wednesday - Resist-A-Ball

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

A unique and effective tool in strength development and overall fitness, the Resist-A-Ball is an inexpensive and versatile tool that can enhance any fitness program, regardless of age or fitness level. Due to its shape, the workout ball consistently challenges balance while targeting specific muscles or groups of muscles.

The Resist-A-Ball exercises provide a total body workout. The intense abdominal, back and trunk work is an integral component in the Resist-A-Ball program. Below you will find several exercises that you can try. Many of these can also incorporate the Body Bar (as shown on the Workout Wednesday segment).

Trunk Curl
Start in the supine position, arms crossed and resting on chest. Tighten abdominals, and curl the ribcage toward the top of the pelvis as far as possible without relaxing. Slowly control the ribcage away from pelvis and lower to starting position. Avoid arching upper or lower back--press lower back into the ball. Repetitions: eight-20. Muscles worked: abdominals. Major stabilizers: neck and hips.

Trunk Extension
Start in a prone position with arms by sides, palms on the ball or crossed at chest, legs extended and spine relaxed over ball. Lift chest off the ball and extend spine until back is flat or slightly extended. Slowly lower chest and drape over ball to return to starting position. Keep head down--do not hyperextend the neck. Repetitions: eight-12. Muscles worked: spinal erectors. Major stabilizers: neck and hips.

Push Up
Start in an extended prone position, ball under thighs and hands on floor with fingers pointed straight ahead or slightly inward. Bend arms, lowering toward floor with body straight and abdominals tight. Allow ball to roll or rock forward keeping shoulders over hands. Straighten arms, raising chest from floor and tightening pecs and triceps. Keep spine fixed and stable throughout movement by contracting abdominals. Repetitions: eight-15. Muscles worked: pectorals and triceps. Major stabilizers: hip extensors, abs and hip flexors.

Shoulder Blade Retraction
Start in a prone position on ball with arms crossed and hanging vertically. The back and shoulders are rounded (protracted). Pull the shoulder blades backward and together. Be sure not to pull the shoulders up to the ears. Slowly release blades and return to starting position. Keep head and trunk fixed and stable in a natural line. Repetitions: eight-12. Muscles worked: rhomboids and middle traps. Major stabilizers: spinal erectors.

Supine Leg Curl
Start lying supine on floor with ball under ankles and arms by sides. Lift hips and bend knees, rolling ball toward the body. Feet are flat on top of ball. Without relaxing, return hips to the floor as knees extend and ball rolls away. Keep hips lifted throughout the curl. Repetitions: eight-12. Muscles worked: hamstrings. Major stabilizers: hip extensors/back extensors.

Lat Pull
Start in an extended prone position with neck in alignment (chin in). Keep arms straight and without moving hands, push your body backward allowing the ball to roll with you. Legs elevate as chest drops to maintain body in straight line. Tighten lats and pull body forward (rolling ball) until shoulders are almost over wrists. Direct movement with heels of hands. Repetitions: eight-15. Muscles worked: latissimus dorsi. Major stabilizers: abs, hip flexors and triceps.

Start standing with ball between lower back and the wall. Feet are shoulder width or slightly wider and one step in front of shoulders and hips. Spine is extended and arms are crossed at chest. Lower hips toward the floor, but go no deeper than when thighs are parallel to the floor. Then straighten legs to starting position. Keep back pressed against ball and execute slowly. Repetitions: eight-15. Muscles worked: quadriceps and gluteals. Major stabilizers: spinal erectors.

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