On The Gym Ball With Coach Gus
Topic: Planning And Preparation
Today, I am excited to launch and share with you my weekly GYM BALL EXERCISE Routines. Before we start, we got to PLAN OUR WORK & WORK OUR PLAN….!! Please feel free to leave your comments as we go along too.
The gym ball was originally known as the Swiss Ball because it was commonly used by Swiss doctors as part of their physiotherapy sessions in the 1930’s. Only much later on, gym instructors adopted this exercise ball as their legitimate exercise tool. From then on, it was referred to as the gym ball.
As a Personal Trainer, the gym ball is one of my favourite exercise companion because it is cheap and extremely versatile; you can target practically all your muscle groups by using the gym ball. Even professional athletes include gym ball workouts in their regular training routine because the gym ball can work your harder to reach, smaller but important, stabilising muscles which will in turn enhance an athlete’s sense of balance during competition.
For SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS, the gym ball is the perfect exercise tool because you can do it as often as you like in the comfort of your own home. It is recommended you spend 30 minutes to 1 hour exercising with the gym ball at least twice-a-week, and before and after a scheduled RACE. By following carefully, my exercise steps provided hereinafter, you will be able to develop your overall muscular strength in order to improve your SPORTS performance, reduce the risk of physical injury, as well as speed-up your post-ride recovery process.
For easy reference, I have divided my gym ball coaching tips into the following 7 key sections:-
1) Planning & Preparation
4) Upper Body Workout
5) Lower Body Workout
6) Core Strengthening
7) Post-Workout & Recovery
Section 1: PLANNING & PREPARATION
Here are 10 TIPS To Help You Get Started!
1. Select the right sized gym ball by sitting in the middle of the ball with your legs in line with your hips, and your shins should be perpendicular to the floor. Ideally, your knees should be are at right angles. If your thighs are sloping upwards, then the ball is too small for you.
2. Find a smooth and clean surface on which to conduct your workout, such as in a gym studio, so that your gym ball will not pick-up any dirt or dust.
3. Keep a bottle of drinking water and a small towel handy to ensure you are hydrated and dry respectively during the workout.
4. Unless your workout surface is carpeted, you should use an exercise mat to break your fall in case you take a tumble, as well as to give your feet better traction.
5. Always start your workout with a warm-up routine by doing some simple low-intensity cardio exercise for 5-10 minutes. The longer and more grueling your workout, the longer will be your pre-exercise warm-up too. Warming-up literally means to increase your body temperature by 1 degree centigrade so that your muscles will be fired-up for the exercise ahead.
6. Make sure you have adequate exercise space because as part of the exercise, you will be stepping forward and side-to-side.
7. If your balancing skills on the gym ball is unsteady, do not worry because it may take your a few tries to get used to the gym ball. After all, the purpose of using the gym ball in the first place is to improve your balance, and that will not happen overnight, and it will take practice to make it perfect.
8. To sit properly on the ball, you must sit in the centre with your back straight and give your abdomen a little squeeze. Your face is facing in front and you are looking straight ahead. Relax your shoulders and place your arms straight down on either side of the ball. Your thighs should be directly in front of your hips. Your knees are at right angles, and position your feet flat on the ground. Lastly, your toes are pointing straight ahead.
9. Neutral standing position means you are standing upright, looking straight ahead with your arms by your side. Relax your shoulders and slightly tighten your abdomen. Your legs should be in line with your hips. Keep your knees flexible and slightly bent.
10. The preferred breathing method is to inhale through your nostril and exhale through your mouth. As you inhale, air should fill your lungs, making your chest expand. When you exhale, your stomach should contract. Your breathing should be deep and slow; take 4 seconds to inhale and exhale respectively. Whatever happens, never hold your breath during exercise; keep breathing evenly and constantly, throughout the whole movement or exercise drill.
About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance WRITER, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani@IG for LIFESTYLE.