The Fitball, or gymnastic ball, is an indispensable item in every gym’s inventory. Also known as a Swiss ball, this large inflatable sphere is an excellent tool for developing strength, maintaining balance, and improving the cardiovascular system.
Elastic and large fitballs are great for performing a variety of exercises, and also has the ability to reduce strains in the muscles and spine—helping restore an injured person’s proper form. Whether you want to lose weight or build muscle, exercise at the gym or at home, the versatile Fitball will help you towards your goals.
- Which fitball do I choose?
- How do I practice with the fitball?
- Complex exercises on the fitball
- Fitball exercises for the lower body
- Fitball exercises for the upper body
- Fitball Exercises for the back and the chest
Which fitball do I choose?
For maximum effectiveness, choose the right size of fit ball for your body. Exercise balls have three standard variations in diameter:
- small – 55 cm;
- medium – 65 cm;
- large – 75 cm.
The small is for people with a height between 149-164 cm, the medium is for those measuring 164-171 cm, and the large is suited to individuals 180 centimeters and taller.
To properly choose a Swiss ball, sit on top of it. If your hips and knees form a right angle perpendicular to the floor’s surface, then you’ve found your ideal fitball size.
How do I practice with the fitball?
There are many fitball exercises that will shed your pounds and tone your muscles. Some exercises require you to switch fit ball sizes for maximum effectiveness.
The level of physical training directly affects the number of sets and repetitions. The optimal workout involves performing each exercise for 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions. You are encouraged to increase the repetition and/or set amount every few training sessions
Complex exercises on a fitball
The following program is designed to target all muscle groups in the body.
Fitball exercises for the lower body
1 – Squats with Fitball overhead
The squat is simple and familiar to most gym-goers, but its effectiveness is enhanced by the addition of a fitness ball to target the upper body.
Do squats, while holding fitball over your head with your arms fully locked. Be sure to involve the shoulders. Keep your torso straight and vertical.
Follow up with at least 10-15 push-ups.
2 – Wall Squats
Effective power-training exercise for the quadriceps muscle, with resistance provided by the fit ball
Stand one meter away from a wall, with your back facing it and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position the fitball between the wall and your lower back, and then slide down smoothly as the ball rolls between your back and the wall. In the lower position, your knees should be bent at right angles. Pause, then slide back up.
Repeat 10-15 times.
Be aware of the position of the fitball. When you are squatted down, the ball should be against your shoulder blades, supporting your back.
3 – Squats with a fitness ball between the knees
Designed to work on the lower back and the inner thighs—one of the most problematic areas.
Standing straight, place the fitball between your legs. Its center should be between your knees. The ball must not touch the floor. Drop the knees to a right angle, while squeezing and holding the fitball above the floor using your thighs. Hold for 30-45 seconds.
Recommendation: The maximum efficiency from such sit-ups makes it possible to get a fitball of a larger diameter, that is, one that is larger than an ideally-fitting ball. Only such a shell will give the necessary load on the hips. If it is difficult to maintain a balance, at first it is permissible to use the support as a wall or chair.
4 – Exercise with a fitball for the hips
This exercise works in three directions at once.
Lay back on the floor, arms on your sides. Rest your heels and calves on the fitball. Raise your hips up from the floor by contracting the abdominal and gluteal muscles. To maintain balance, use your hands.
Having exhaled, not taking your feet off the fitball, tighten your knees. Hold in the accepted position for a couple of seconds, inhale and straighten your legs.
Make sure that the glutes are fully squeezed when you are at the top position.
The number of repetitions: 10-12.
5 – Slow and deep squats
Help to strengthen and maintain the tone of the legs, chest, hands.
For best results, keep arms contracted, and crouch as low as possible.
Bring the fitball in front of your face. As you squat down, move the inflatable ball down towards your left, until it’s slightly above the left foot. Ascend back to the starting position, then squat again, this time moving the ball toward your right foot.
Alternate sides until 10-15 reps are done on each side.
6 – Fitball attacks
Train the ability to maintain balance.
Stand with the ball behind your heels. Place one foot on the ball so that the sole of your shoe is pointed upwards. With your other foot, step 15 centimeters forward. Bend both knees. Monitor the position of the leg not on the ball. It should completely rely on the foot, for balance. If you find it difficult to do this exercise, you can use a chair or railing to help you balance.
Repeat at least 8-10 times on each leg.
7 – Reverse hyperextension
Performing this exercise allows you to tone the muscles of the buttocks.
Lie down with your chest against the fitball, fingers and toes touching the floor. Inch forward to where your hands are at the same level as your shoulders, but your hips are not in contact with the ball.
Contract the abdominal muscles. Straighten your legs, and keep them together. Try to stay in this position for as long as possible.
Contract 12-15 times, all in one set, without getting up from the ball.
Fitball exercises for the upper body
These exercises below perfectly complement the exercises above and will help maintain the shape of the upper body.
8 – Push-ups with a fitball
Much more complicated than traditional push-ups, but also much more effective. The main thing is to master the form and execution.
Place the fitball in front of you, lie on top of it so that your core muscles are touching the top of the ball, and your hands and feet are touching the surface of the floor. Using your hands, crawl forward until the lower half of your legs are steadily resting on the ball. Keep your legs straightened. Your body should now be parallel to the floor. In this position, do push-ups.
Perform at least 8-10 push-ups.
9 – Fitball Plank
A perfect exercise that allows you to hold steady in one position to work out the muscles of the arms and shoulders.
There are two variations for this exercise: the easy one and the hard one. The easy option involves placing your elbows and forearms on the gymnastic ball, and stepping backward until your body is in a straight line. Squeeze and hold. The hard option involves planking with your hands placed on the ball, shoulder width apart, and your arms locked out.
Hold the position for up to 30 seconds each round.
10 – Fitball Roll Out
Place the fitball on the floor. Get on your knees, facing the ball, giving yourself some space. With your fists held together, lay your hands on top of the ball. While contracting your core, lean forward and let your arms roll against the fitball. Stop when the fit ball rolls to your triceps, and begin rolling back up. Do not try to do a lot of repetition right away. The main thing is to master the right technique.
If excessive pressure is applied to your knees, use a yoga mat or lay a normal towel.
11 – Hyperextension
This exercise is aimed at strengthening the spinal muscles.
The abdomen and hips are atop the fitball, and the legs are straight. Grasp the ball for balance. Raise the chest toward the ceiling, as high as possible, then slowly place the palms on the back of the head. Hold in this position, return to the original.
12 – Trigate push-ups
Allow you to strengthen and maintain the tone of the triceps.
Sitting on top of the fitball, feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees until they are 90 degrees. Put your hands on the ball and slowly move it forward. In the starting position, your hands should be propping up your upper body. Perform push-ups.
Perform 10 to 15 pushups, keeping your back straight, involving the muscles of the press.
13 – “Fitball Ab Tuck”
A fairly complex and advanced exercise for working out the press. It not only strengthens the musculature on the stomach, but also works up a sweat.
Get into push-up position, and rest your shins on the top of the fitball. Try and tuck your lower legs toward your chest, while keeping your core tight.
This exercise is quite difficult, but offers excellent results. Perform at least 5-8 repetitions per approach.
Fitball exercises for the back
14 – V-Up
Lying on your back, drape your ankles onto the fitball. Stretch your arms and legs out, and lift your torso up off the floor, without also lifting your hips. Correct execution is your body forming a letter “V” in the upper position. At this point, count to five, and then slowly go lower your torso back down.
The optimal number of repetitions is 6-10.
15 – Jumping
Give an energetic, vivacious charge!
Sit on top of the ball, with your feet on the floor. Raise both your knees up off the floor, and as you bring your feet back down, jump as high up as possible.
The optimal duration of jumping is between two and five minutes. This allows you to maintain a steady heart rate, which makes jumping ideal for warm-up.
16 – Ball Pass
Solidifies abdominal muscles.
Lay on your back with your hands and feet stretched out, the fitball at your fingertips. Pick the fitball up with your hands, while simultaneously lifting your legs. Pass the ball from your hands to your ankles, then gradually lower your limbs back down. Lift your arms and legs once again, this time passing the ball from your ankles to your hands. Slowly lower limbs back down. This is one rep.
Do 6-10 reps.
17 – Bending the knees
Get in push-up position, hands beneath shoulders. Place your shins on the fit ball so that your body is now parallel to the floor. Tuck your knees toward your chest until they are at the hip level, and then return to the starting position.
Repeat 10 -15 times.
18 – Lifting the knees
Excellent work out the problem areas.
Place the ball against something that can not be moved, like a wall. Lay down on the fitness ball so that the back and shoulders touch it. Put your legs together, stretched out. Bend your knees and bring them toward your chest, using your hands to maintain balance.
Do at least 10-15 repetitions
19 – Oblique Twist
Works oblique muscles.
Lay your back against the fitball, put hands behind head. Do sit ups, while alternating between bringing your left elbow toward the right side of your body and vice versa.
Perform at least 12-15 turns on each side.
20 – Bends on stretching
An excellent end to the training.
Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the fitball above your head. Your back is straight and your core is tight. Use the ball to touch your left foot, pause, and bring the ball back above your head. Now use the ball to touch your right foot, then bring it back up.
Do 10-15 reps on each side.