If you frequently darken the doors of the weight room, you probably use the flat, supine, incline and decline positions of the weight bench. If your work schedule relegates you to prime time use of the gym, then you might also encounter the annoying wait for the bench phenomenon. The stability ball accommodates all of these positions, and you do not have to get up and adjust it. When used in lieu of a bench for weight training, it helps you engage the targeted muscle of the exercise, along with your deep core muscles.
Ball Training Safety Precautions
Despite its benefits, weight-training on the ball has important definite safety precautions.
- Selecting a ball that allows your legs to form a 90 degree angle when sitting upright upon it. (note that this rule might change under certain circumstances.)
- Using a wider foot stance placement if you are not accustomed to ball or other types of balance training
- Using a sturdy, burst-proof ball, but still checking the floor for debris or sharp objects.
- Avoiding using weights that are too heavy
- Stability Ball Weight Training with a Personal Trainer
Whilst most of the safety precautions of ball weight training are more or less concrete, if not adhered to, another safety issue has subtle, albeit insidious negative consequences. Your readiness to perform strength training exercises on balance devices is determined by your posture, your muscle imbalances and your ability to willfully engage your deep core muscles.
If you do not meet these standards, you might still be able to perform the exercise by overcompensating with your stronger muscle groups, but doing so always ends badly. In a best case scenario, the exercise will be ineffective. In a worst case scenario, you will incur serious injuries. Our personal trainers can help prepare you for the fundamentals of safe and effective balance training exercise.
Super-Setting Ball and Traditional Weight Training
If you have specific strength goals in your weight training program, you might have valid concerns about the lighter weights required for weight training on the ball. Your personal trainer can teach you an integrated approach to this type of workout.
You do your first set on a piece of traditional exercise equipment, and use the weight load that you would normally lift for the specific exercise. For your next set, use a lighter weight, and perform a similar exercise on the exercise ball. Here are some possible examples:
- Follow a traditional bench press with a dumbbell press on the ball. Alter your body position to perform the exercise in a flat, incline or decline alignment.
- Do a set on the shoulder press , then sit on the ball and do the same exercise, using your deep core muscles instead of the seat back to help you maintain alignment.
- Do a set of rear delt exercises on your favorite type of equipment. Then lighten the weight and do the same exercise whilst lying prone on the stability ball. This is extremely challenging, because you will not be able to use your back muscles for momentum.
- Follow a traditional crunch with a stability ball crunch. Add a light weight to increase the challenge.
Your personal trainer can also design sport-specific weight training programs for the exercise ball. Why limit yourself to the exercises you know, when your trainer has a treasure trove of fun and effective exercises. Call Happy Physio at (08) 9272 7359 today and let us assist you.