Here’s Why Your Stability Ball Is Your Friend

You grabbed it during a one off trip to Marshall’s. It was sitting there…shiny, pink or maybe even purple and the price was within your budget. You thought to yourself, let me be cute and get in shape with this trendy ball thing. It started out wonderfully. You used it to work out here and there, and sometimes you sat in it for good posture. You had every intention of spending more time with your stability ball but over time it grew into new age home decor that got the most attention when your nieces and nephews visited. “Where’s the handle?”, they asked. Every now and then your pet would roll around with it. Well, I’m here to tell you, don’t let that thing collect dust and pet dander in the corner of your living room any longer. It’s probably the cheapest, whole body, at home, workout system. At first glance, it looks like an elementary play thing that could never give you an effective workout. But, if you commit to using it consistently, your stability ball can help snap your whole body into beach-ready condition.

For starters, the stability ball helps to build your pillar strength. What is “pillar strength”, you’re wondering? It includes our hip flexors, our core, anterior (front), posterior (back), obliques (sides) and our shoulders. All body movement flows from this region. You can see the importance of strength training this area, right?! There are many exercises that involve this area. Especially if or when you decide to lift, you’ll need a strong pillar before you even venture to that arena. It’s my educated suggestion that you master your body weight before you add any additional weights (20+ lbs) to your workout. The stability ball is a great option for strengthening your pillar and can be combined with an array of body weight workouts to modify the exercise to your skill level. Here’s a breakdown of what I did today. Sorry, I couldn’t record the entire workout but I put them in terms that are simple to understand.

  • Wall squats with the ball resting between your lower back and the wall
  • Single leg wall squats with ball resting between your lower back and the wall
  • Lunges with one leg suspended laterally on top of your stability ball
  • Single leg lunges with rear leg suspended on top of the stability ball
  • Bridges with feet on top of your stability ball
  • Single leg bridges with feet on top of your stability ball
  • Side planks with stability ball in between feet
  • Leg raises with stability ball in between feet
  • Hamstring curls with feet rested on stability ball
  • Plank with feet rested on top of stability ball
  • Push-up planks with feet rested on top of stability ball
  • Sit-ups with stability ball
  • Bridge hold with neck rested on stability ball
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Oh, Hey. I’m just here tightening up my glutes, hamstrings and core with one piece of equipment! 

The key with each exercise is to take your time. Form is everything. You want to make sure you’re taking time to get into the proper position. You’ll probably fall off balance a few times but it’s important not to rush through.

Remember that everyone starts somewhere!

I hope this read was helpful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Quest For Abs, Skinny Girls Need Cardio Too [New Client Valencia]

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “You’re skinny. Why are you on a diet/working out?”, I’d be rich. Yeah, I’m small and appear to be healthy but the truth is that size is no indicator of health or well-being. Nor does it mean everyone under a size 6 will have a flat stomach, toned legs or high endurance. The skinny girl struggle can be just as real as any other. Take my new client, Valencia, for example. She’s always been slender but was having difficulty getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. She’d tried adjusting her diet but what was missing was a targeted assault against her stomach fat with a combination of cardio, calisthenics and high intensity interval training.

Cardio is essential to EVERY workout regimen that includes fat loss. Contrary to popular belief, there is no way to target fat loss. It accumulates all over and it burns all over. Therefore, if you want to lose belly fat, you should use cardio as your main weapon of choice. Once Valencia has begun to burn fat, we can actually see the benefits of all those crunches. Make sense?

Being that Valencia is just beginning her fitness program, we spend a lot of time correcting form. Check pics below. Which one demonstrates correct form? I’ll give you a hint. Check out the difference in her back. A simple directive to “Tuck your pelvis” corrected her elbow and shoulder alignment, her lordosis (excessive lower back curve) and it caused her to extend her heels and fluctuate her weight to the balls of her feet as opposed to her toes.

valencia_junkfit_2Form is is important because when you train with poor form, you train your body to do the wrong things and over time, repetitive incorrect form can cause serious injury. Sounds like a given but you’d be shocked at how many people train incorrectly.

Some of the ab and core exercises we did today were:

Russian Twists

Hands Free Crunches

Toe Touches

Bear Crawls

Burpees

Planks

For your cardio, try keeping it fun with zumba, taebo, an outdoor run or even the treadmill. Just be sure to work up a healthy sweat before your core/ab work.

Adios,

Jazz