How to Use a Pilates Ball

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How to Use a Pilates Ball

A method of building core strength by famed dancer Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates morphed into an exercise phenomenon in the 21st century, with many home DVDs teaching Pilates moves and many fitness facilities offering Pilates classes. Pilates balls help develop core strength in a myriad of ways providing comfort and flexibility during moves. However, Pilates balls are not exclusive to the Pilates core strengthening methods and people can use them in a variety of other manners.


Stability Ball Training

Also known as a stability ball or yoga ball, this comfortable ball helps develop muscles without hurting the back. It especially works on abdominal muscles, but remember to choose the one that works with an individual's height. Thankfully, they feature colour coding. Green balls typically work for smaller people, while yellow balls work for people of medium height, and red balls work for taller people. Learn stability ball training moves that help build the core the way Joseph Pilates aimed, as well as develop upper and lower body muscles.

Abdominal Work

People with chronic back problems find it difficult to do abdominal work from the floor, even using a soft, thick, and sturdy exercise mat. A Pilates or stability ball allows people with painful backs to work their abdominal muscles on the cushioned and airy surface of the ball. Make sure to wear the right fitness clothes, put on some music from an MP3 player for ambiance, and centre the back in the middle of the ball, draping the legs over it and positioning them firmly onto the floor.
Lay back supporting the neck with the hands and perform an abdominal crunch the way a person would from the floor, except with less pressure on the back and less pain. A Pilates ball also helps people perform side planks with ease. Just lean one side on the ball, hold the ball with the hand near the outer hip, and assume the side plank position with pressure taken off the knees and hips, working the oblique abdominal muscles.

Leg Work

If a person does not have back pain, lying on a mat with a stability ball helps work the legs and the abdominals at the same time. Lie flat and grip the ball between the calves. Then, slowly lift the legs while pulling the navel into the spine, as a person does when performing Pilates leg exercises. The ball forces the core and legs to work more as the person slowly raises and lowers the ball. To work the inner thighs and buttocks, stand up and place the ball between the legs and perform squats, squeezing the thighs into the ball.

Upper Body Work

A person can get just as much of an upper body workout on a Pilates ball as they can a lower body or core workout. Do pushups from a Pilates ball by lying on the ball and rolling out until the ball supports the lower stomach. Place hands on the floor and work chest and shoulder muscles with pushups. Keep a similar position with feet on the floor to do bicep curls with weights while maintaining core strength using the ball. Sit on the ball and do overhead tricep presses.
Any time people balance themselves on the ball, they are working their core, which is exactly what Joseph Pilates wanted. Get the most out of a Pilates ball by working the entire body. If any part of the body has pain or chronic injury, the ball makes strength training easier.


How to Buy a Pilates Ball on eBay

When looking for the right Pilates ball, determine which colour fits your height. Then, visit eBay from the convenience of home. Just type what you need into the search bar found on each eBay page and watch the results generate. Specify preferred brand, as well as colour, to narrow the results and streamline the buying process. Look for trusted sellers with high feedback ratings and years of experience and contact the seller for more information. Once your Pilates ball arrives, start practising the above exercises to get yourself in shape.

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