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Pilates balance ball

Any stability ball requires the participant to find their balance. It demands that we find our center on an unstable surface. This will help to develop strong hamstrings and glutes. These muscle groups are less developed because they are on our backside and we are forward moving beings. We don't like to walk backwards even though it is very beneficial. To use your ball, start on your back on the mat with the knees bent and the heels resting on top of the ball, arms by your side and eyes to the ceiling. Inhale to prepare, then exhale and slowly roll through the spine (from the bottom to the top), one vertebra at a time until you are anchored at the top of your shoulders. Be sure you are not putting your weight on the neck and flattening the cervical spine. As you roll up slightly push the heels down into the ball to help stabilize. Inhale and hold at the top, then exhale and slowly roll down the spine, one vertebra at a time until you are back in the starting position. Rolling the spine up and down helps to stretch and lengthen the spine.

Mastering the stability exercises will greatly improve strength in the often ignored yet extremely important glute and hamstring muscles.

The key benefits of training on a ball include muscle tone and definition, core strength, flexibility, posture, balance, coordination and body awareness.


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