The wellness-ball workout is a total body workout for your largest major muscle groups. It builds lean muscle, jump-starts metabolism, and keeps it going. The wellness ball is also compact and portable. All you need for the exercises is a ball and a few feet of space.
Wall squats primarily strengthen your glutes and quads. Secondarily, they work the hamstrings, and make your core work to stabilize you.
- Place the ball against the wall and lean your lower back into it.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart, chest up, and core engaged.
- Slowly lower your body toward the floor, flexing at both the hips and knees, as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Then stand back up.
- Throughout the exercise, keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet, and keep your hips, knees, and ankles all in alignment.
Do 15–20 reps.
Alternating Reverse Lunge With Overhead Flexion
These primarily strengthen the glutes, quads, and shoulders, and secondarily work the hamstrings. Like with the wall squats, the core is also working to stabilize you.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the ball in both hands.
- Take one big step backward, flexing the back knee and lowering it toward the floor.
- While stepping back, raise the ball overhead using your shoulders and arms. The shoulders or front deltoids are the primary muscles engaged to raise the arms so make sure not to shrug your shoulders, which is a compensation.
- Step forward to the starting position and lower the ball. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Do 20 reps.
Hamstring Curls and Hip Bridges
These activate the hamstrings and glutes and help them fire properly. The glutes can be inactive if you’re sedentary or have dominant quads, which can happen with exercises like skiing and bicycling. If your glutes do not fire even in glute-based exercises such as squats or lunges, they will not be worked.
- Lie flat on your back, heels on the ball and legs straight.
- Slowly raise your hips off the ground. Then roll the ball toward your buttocks in one movement.
- Push the ball back to the starting position and lower your hips back to the floor.
Do 15–20 reps.
Reverse Shoulder Flies
These strengthen the rear delts and rhomboids, which are important for good upper-body posture.
Lie face down on the ball with your pelvis on top of it.
- Hang your arms to the side, and then raise them into a T-like position by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Focus on contracting your rhomboids, the muscles in between your shoulder blades. This will help you from compensating and doing the movement incorrectly.
- Drop your arms to the sides of the ball and then repeat.
Do 20–25 reps.
These strengthen the pecs and delts and build core stability.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the ball and ensure a good grip.
- Rest your toes on the floor and keep your entire body straight. The wider your feet are apart, the more stability you’ll have. Narrow your stance to make the exercise more challenging. Progress to one leg if you really want a challenge.
- Lower the entire body toward the ball, making sure your head does not drop.
- If lowering the ball all the way is a too much, lower only half way.
Aim for 15-20 reps. If 15 is too much, start with 5.
This helps increase mobility and range of motion in back muscles and stretches the hip flexors, pecs, and shoulders.
- Sit on the ball and roll out, so that you are now lying on it.
- Allow your arms to go back into a Y-like position.
- Rest your head on the ball and let your entire upper body mold into it.
Relax and hold for 1 minute.
Michael Zieminski is a Technogym master trainer. Visit the Technogym showroom at 70 Greene St. in SoHo to learn more from master personal trainers. Technogym.com