Anybody Use A Stability Ball?

I got this very brightly colored stability ball a couple of years ago as a gift. And in case you were wondering, I did ask for it, although once I saw the color my first thought was, “That doesn’t match anything in my house!” Then I wondered where to store the thing, but remarkably, it fits in the bottom of my closet as long as I close the door really fast!

One of many things I’ve learned over the years is that getting fit doesn’t look the same for every person. And your definition of fitness may be different than that of your best friend’s. And in addition to the definitions being different, there are also lots of different ways to achieve certain levels of fitness.

Some may want to be runners, some are gym buffs, some just workout at home – but regardless of where or how you workout, it is important to pay attention to your core strength. I read an interesting article the other day that I will link if I can find it again, talking about the fact that some of us want to be runners or triathletes but really aren’t ready to train for those sports because we aren’t strong enough. I could see the author’s point, because when we don’t have the right muscle strength in our legs, back, and abs then strenuous activities like running can cause injuries if we aren’t ready for them.

Hence the picture of the stability ball. When I first got it I didn’t use it much. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, or whether or not it really worked. But over time I began to use it more frequently and now really enjoy it. I incorporate it in with the free weights I use, the Gym In A Bag resistance bands/cuffs I have, and plain old floor work. I like to mix up my exercise because 1) I get bored and 2) I know that mixing things up keeps my body guessing as to what comes next.

Do you have a favorite way to strength train, or a favorite piece of equipment? I’d love to hear what you do because I’m always looking for new ideas!  Diane

The Mayo Clinic has a nice slide show with some ideas on how to use the exercise ball to improve your core strength. I would demonstrate some exercises myself, but when I did one for the girls they laughed so hard I knew that wasn’t a great plan! 🙂

41 thoughts on “Anybody Use A Stability Ball?

  1. Shannon says:

    I am not a fan of working out at home. I am one of those people who will but would much rather be outside or at a gym.
    My favorite is definately spin class. I love that I can take 1 hour and get such a good workout in.
    Changing it up is the key all around you are right on there!

  2. 266 says:

    I have slowly started to change my workout routine too. I think that as your strength, cardio, and endurance changes, so to do the things you are interested in exploring. We sense our limitations expanding as this process goes on and naturally want to continue testing our boundaries with different actitivies!
    .-= 266´s last blog ..Weigh-In For Week 35 =-.

  3. NewMe says:

    Yes, I have one and I use it to develop my core. What with having had back and hip surgery plus creeping arthritis, it’s a must in my books. Besides doing exercises with it lying on the floor with my legs on the ball, I also just sit on it and bounce. I’m supposed to bounce twice a day for a total of 15 minutes, but don’t always manage to. Bad me.

    My ball is purple and I really don’t have a place to put it away so my husband is always shoving it aside to get into his clothes closet!
    .-= NewMe´s last blog ..So What Does Make Them Different? =-.

  4. Marlena says:

    I love the stability ball!! I had no idea that a ball could do so much. I do crunches, pushups, leg & arm work…a bunch of stuff!

    But I also like going to the gym. I love spinning & I also use the CrossRamp machine; it’s kinda like the Elliptical but on a ramp instead of revolutions. I do weights/strength training too.

    I do at-home workouts too in case I can’t get myself to the gym.

    I like mixing up my workouts for the same reason, to keep my body guessing. I don’t want it to get used to the same workout over & over because then it won’t burn calories efficiently.

    I’m also a runner…never thought I’d say/write that! I did the C25K program. I highly recommend it!

    I just like trying different workouts to see what my body can do. I’ve never been athletic, even as a kid, so it’s neat to experience different workouts & see how strong I really am! 🙂

  5. Marcelle says:

    I love the fitness ball…I used to teach ball classes and even here in Germany till I saw that on ball days my class was empty and on aerobic days they were full…I gave them the talk on how important strength training was and that ball was a fun way to do thing.
    For the last two months I’ve only been running as while on holiday I didnt have access to the gym and love using the machines for my core training…
    Now back in Germany and still not into a good fitness routine, when I do train I’m still only running…
    I know how important core training is…and I do have a pink ball at home I could use, so no excuse.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..More Photo’s =-.

  6. Diane says:

    We have 3 stability balls but had to deflate them because they were making our floors squeak a lot and it was bothering the downstairs neighbors. I loved using them for push ups, planks and simply sitting on for doing computer work.I am finding I am a big fan of wall push ups, wall squats , using non weights for weights( tin cans, books, whatever is handy) , gigantic rubber bands as resistance bands( got them free by the bushel from my BIL who works in a warehouse) and simply walking. I am also a big fan of different fitness games that the Wii offers. I like these because they are here and I can and do use them several times during the day when I get a free block of time.Better still, seeing me doing these encourages my son to join in and get moving as well. Because of an old knee injury and arthritis, I will never be a runner. As I age if my knee does not do me in with running, my bladder definitely would ( bouncing in any form is NOT my friend!)
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Polenta, hummus and weigh in-Oh My !! =-.

  7. Susan says:

    Right now I workout at home and use my pilates ball to do wall squats and as a bench for shoulder presses and such. 2 times a week I usually lift free weights at home on my whole body. I do floor exercises to strengthen my abs and back. I do cardio 5x a week some combination of my treadmill that I jog/walk/do incline work on. Now that the weather is nice I get outside to walk and do yardwork. Plus I have a regular bicycle which I love to ride outside reminds me of when I was a kid it is fun and not work!!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Slip that leads to a Binge =-.

  8. erin says:

    I got one last January and used it quite a bit for several months. It came with a really great DVD, and so I was able to work my legs, abs, and arms using the ball. Then I started running, and the ball was pushed to the back of the room. I’ve thought recently about getting it out again, though, because I really did enjoy it!
    .-= erin´s last blog ..Never Going Back =-.

  9. 'Drea says:

    I like your strategy for storing your stability ball in the closet and I like that you kept the ball even though it didn’t match your decor. 😉

    I love my stability ball. I also do strength training on it. One of my favorite DVDs is 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts.

    I also really dig my resistance band.
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..Turned A Corner =-.

  10. Carly says:

    I love my stability ball! I use it instead of a chair at work. I have to keep it away from home right now because my kids like to think it is theirs. I think it helps with my core strength too.
    .-= Carly´s last blog ..The Demise of the Detox =-.

  11. Rachel says:

    I have a stability ball but haven’t used it yet…it’s been stored in the 2nd bathroom’s shower. In two years, nobody has ever had to shower. I think the ball might be dusty at this point. But once I get going at my new gym, I’ll start using it!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Holy scrapple batman! ~ Dave =-.

  12. Diane says:

    I use it as part of my physical therapy to strengthen my core. I also use giant resistance bands and kettlbells at home. I’d like to get my hands on a BOSU ball but not sure where I would store it at home.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..YOU Staying Young =-.

  13. Amy says:

    Yeah, it is easy to look ridiculous when using a stability ball – especially to your own kids! I have one too, I got it to be able to use it as a bench for when I have to do exercises at home and also to try out some of the more crazy looking exercises at home first before making myself look like a fool at the gym…
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..You know you’re a runner when… =-.

  14. WaistingTime says:

    Mine is uglier! Bright orangy color. I had not used it in ages but now it is great for doing crunches while my broken bone heals. My husband has a huge one (he is 6′ 4″) and sits on it at his computer.

    I love the BOSU and used to take a class that did all the weight training with the BOSU. Great for the core.
    .-= WaistingTime´s last blog ..Take Me (Pig)Out to the Ballgame =-.

  15. Yum Yucky says:

    I am a BIG, BIG fan of body weight exercises. And plyometrics too. I work out at home. There is limited space and kids running around. My body weight work is effective, and a great way to NOT use exercise equipment for the little gremlins to hurt themselves with. I only pull out my free weights when they are sleeping.
    .-= Yum Yucky´s last blog ..I Have a New Man – And a Cake Eating Announcement =-.

  16. Alissa says:

    I have a stability ball that is actually working as a computer chair when we use the desktop. 🙂 But I love the ball, although I don’t use it as often as I should. It makes all workout seem more fun!
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..Weigh In Day =-.

  17. vickie says:

    I actually have two stability balls – one for the first floor and one for the second floor. I bend backwards over them – many times a day to help my discs realign where they are supposed to be (IN, rather than OUT). I also lay face down on it and do back/core strengthening work by lifting UP and holding. Good one to do in front of the TV – because when I hold UP – I can watch.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Wallking Shorts – the saga continues =-.

  18. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Diane, I LOVE that stability ball. I do so much with it – core, abs, chest, push-ups & more. It really can be quite versatile & a great addition to a person that works out at home. I use theone at the gym. In fact, for my push-ups, I even use the super big one with my feet on it & hands on the floor to make the push-up harder! 🙂

    As for my fav way to train.. you know me already – I just love the weights in all forms!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Wedding Pictures!!!!!!!!!!! =-.

  19. Siobhan says:

    I love to work out at home or walk outside because I don’t have to go anywhere to do it. I am pretty realistic about what I am able to do and have plans for what I will do in the future when I’ve lost more weight.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..hang ‘em high =-.

  20. Emergefit says:

    To answer your question, my favorite way to train is to wake up and move.
    I like the stability ball too; to balance on top of it, on my knees, and do moderate weighted upper body exercises such as later deltoid raises and biceps curls while balanced on top. This was very hard to learn, but is now 2nd nature to me now. I hope to put a video of me doing these on my website in early May.
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Homo Karate-us… =-.

  21. Leah says:

    We bought one last summer and I had the hardest time staying balanced on the silly thing! 😛

    What you said about having to strengthen the right muscles for certain strenuous activities is so true. When I told my husband (a runner) that I wanted to start jogging he suggested I do weights to strengthen all parts of my legs and I know that is what helped me have success with jogging.

    Since the two gyms I go to are free (one is military and the other at a church) I currently enjoy going to the gym and using the elliptical and treadmills for jogging and then the weight machines.

    I started with doing Leslie Sansone walking DVDs, and I sometimes do the Wii Fit at home in the evenings if I’ve worked that day.

    Variety keeps me interested as well! 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Weigh-In … Getttin With It Update #2 =-.

  22. karen@fitnessjourney says:

    I didn’t really use my stability ball much until I started working out with a trainer. One of the most challenging exercises that he has had me do with the ball is to lie on my back with my feet on the ball and do a bridge. Then I lower myself up and down. It gets the hamstrings burning in no time! I hope you will try that one Diane and let me know what you think. I hope I’m not the only one who finds it a bit on the hard side.
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..Manage Your Health Like a Business =-.

  23. anne h says:

    I once had a patient who used a fitness ball for PT and OT.
    I had to sit on the ball and hold the patient!
    Easier said than done – a great workout!

  24. Deniz says:

    I LOVE my ball.
    Use it as a computer chair at home, for core exercises and for easing a slightly dodgy back (physio recommended it and it’s been a treasure).

    I’d use one at work too but our safety guy thinks it might ‘be a hazard in the office’ ! ! ! So I use a kneeling chair at work instead and everyone just accepts that as another measure of my oddity 🙂

    I’d love to find an exercise class to use it more creatively but haven’t been able to find a local one… yet.
    .-= Deniz´s last blog ..A rollercoaster ride =-.

  25. Miz says:

    ok Im late to the soiree but ADORE my ball and, with the child around, seem to use it in daily in one way or another.

    my fave thing? the LEBERT EQUALIZER!!

    (I have a video on it on my blog…Im not one to link my blog in peoples comments but check it out if youve never seen one. they are great!!)
    .-= Miz´s last blog ..Women’s Day Magazine & bodybuilding. =-.

  26. Jen-JensFitnessTips.com says:

    Love love love working with a stability ball!! There are so many exercises you can do with it…push ups, inner thigh toning, abdominal exercises, and so much more! I love the ab wheel for my abs….my abs are flatter and firmer than ever! I’m a weights girl so I love to lift for lean muscle. But I also love to run for cardio! I’m a mix!! Love to try to ways of working out. Like you said, we are all different 🙂
    .-= Jen-JensFitnessTips.com´s last blog ..Tip #77: Mini Trampoline Workouts =-.

  27. Sarah says:

    I have fallen in love with Zumba as working out in home is not my thing. Since getting a job I can no longer go to Zumba so I am trying my hand at running. I also like exercisetv.tv. That I am using for the weights videos when I can’t get to the gym.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Day 178, 179 & 180 =-.

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