Workout with Balls

If you want to make your practice as effective and as challenging as possible, you might want to give workout with gym balls a try. It is particularly useful for us dancers since it’s quite an easy way to improve the coordination between your muscles without causing them to sore on the day after which would have a negative effect on your coordination. Here are a few of my favorite exercises. But beware, you will need balls to do these!

 

Hip lift

This exercise strengthens the posterior muscle chain, especially the posterior thigh muscles.

 

Execution

Lie down on a mat with your face up. Put both your heels on the gym ball while leaving your legs bent and lift your hips. Your upper body should be in a straight line with your hips and knees. Have your partner check your position!

 

Optional: Using one leg only.

 

Plank

Of course I cannot omit plank J

 

Execution

Press yourself against the ball using your forearms. Your elbows should be placed under your shoulders. The legs should be bent and the knees not far away from the floor. The head is in one line with the spine, facing down to the ball.

 

Optional: Lift one leg.

 

 

Bridge position

This is another exercise for the posterior muscle chain (the posterior thigh muscles in particular).

 

Execution

The shoulder girdle lies on the ball and the feet are placed under the knees or slightly in front of them. The hips are kept high in order to be in one line with the knees and the upper body. The arms are extended to the sides.

 

Optional: Lift one leg and/or stretch your arms up pointing to the ceiling. 

All-fours position

This is one of the exercises which definitely look easier than they are. It is perfect for the anterior muscle chain. Your belly muscles will love you!

 

Execution

 

Go to the position on all fours and push the ball forward with your hands until the arms and the upper body are in one line. Push your hips as far forward as possible. Your head should be in one line with your spine facing down to the floor. There should be at least a right angle between your upper body and your thighs and between your thighs and your lower legs.

Optional: Lift one leg or one arm.

 

The execution of each exercise should not last longer than 30-60 (!) seconds. Take turns with your partner after each exercise in order to take the necessary break and check whether your partner is executing the exercise correctly.

 

 

You can do one round as a warm up which should not take longer than 10-20 min. You can, however, do more rounds as a separate workout unit. Doing the exercise series twice or three times a week will help you improve your body stability without an excessive effort. When the basic variations become too easy for you, just switch to the more challenging options with lifting one leg etc.

 

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