Top 5 Mini Exercise Ball Moves!

Top 5 Mini Exercise Ball Moves!

Happy Friday!! 

We’ve been using mini pilates/exercise balls in our classes ever since we opened our studio, and we’re so excited to finally have our own custom Open Barre ones! There are so many ways to incorporate these balls into your exercises, and it’s the perfect way to bring your workouts home with you on days you can’t make it into your regular studio or gym. They are now available for purchase online and include a detailed exercise video library and a PDF step by step instructional manual to follow for just 15$! If you're on the fence about getting one for yourself, I’ve taken a few of my favorite ball exercises to give you all a little preview of how to get a full-body workout using just your bodyweight and our open barre mini exercise ball! Check out some of these moves below! :)

1. Abs/High C-Curve

Starting position set up:

-Sit with your feet flat in front of you, the ball behind your lower back, and your tailbone curled under.

-Scoop your abs in while pulling your belly button all the way back towards your spine, and your core ‘up'.

-Create a “C” shape from the top of your head and all the way down to your tailbone.

***Things to keep in mind: Think about tipping your hips upward towards your ribcage as you squeeze your ribcage closed, and fold it over your hips while relaxing your hip flexors.***

 

Once in correct form:  Pulse yourself back an inch and up an inch while staying at your lowest point(only tiny movements). Repeat several rounds! 

 

2. Thighs/Parallel Plies

***Option to use a surface (countertop, back of a chair, railing, etc.) for balance help***

Starting position set up: 

-Place the ball as high as you can between your inner thighs.

-Walk your feet in closer and parallel (the closer the feet are to one another, the more challenging it will be)!

-Lift your heels off of the ground, keeping an equal dispersion of weight through all corners of the balls of your feet and through all ten toes.

-In order to keep your knees pointing straight forward, bend them slightly and squeeze into the ball with your thighs.

***Things to keep in mind: Keep your shoulders down and back, and your core tight. Imagine you have a heavy tailbone, and lengthen long through your lower back to maintain your neutral spine. (Don’t let your back over-arch or your hips press out behind you).***

Once in correct form: Find your lowest point (similar to photo above) and hold a squeeze of the ball as you pulse down and up, never fully straightening out your legs. Repeat until you fatigue out your muscles-- shaking is good! 

 

3. Glutes/Back Dancing

Starting position set up:

-Lay down onto your back, and bend your knees to place your feet flat on the ground a few inches apart(the further away from the rest of your body your feet are, the more challenging).

-Place the ball between your mid-thighs.

-Pull your navel down to your spine, press your spine down into the ground, and relax your neck and shoulders.

Things to keep in mind: Focus on driving your heels down into the ground and squeezing your glutes to lift your hips, starting with your tailbone and peeling up one vertebra at a time.

Once in correct form: Hold a squeeze of the ball as you lift your hips all the way up towards the ceiling. Once your hips are at your highest point, immediately lower them all the way back down to the ground(full range of motion)! Repeat.

 

4. Arms/Chest Squeezes

Starting position set up: 

-Sitting or standing comfortably with your shoulders over your hips, place the ball in front of your chest with your palms pressing it evenly on both sides.

-Keep your elbows bent and in line with your wrists (photo 1).

***Things to keep in mind: Focus on keeping good posture by avoiding any hunching of your shoulders.***

Once in correct form: Holding a squeeze of the ball with your palms, press your arms straight out in front of you (photo 2). Once your arms are fully extended straight, return back to your starting position and repeat!

 

5. Back/Roll-Up

Starting position set up:

-Lying down on on your stomach with your arms and legs long, place your palms on top of the ball.

-Pull your shoulders as far down and away from your ears as possible.

***Things to keep in mind: Keep your gaze up and stretch your neck long as you reach the top. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades and lats(the area right underneath your armpits) together.***

Once in correct form: Start to press down onto the ball as you lift your torso up above the ground slowly. Hold at the top, then slowly roll back down to your starting position. Repeat!

 

Have a great weekend, and check out the link above for more!! :)

-Nicky

Early Morning Exercise Benefits!

Early Morning Exercise Benefits!