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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “F” Is For Fun: Enjoying Your Workouts

There’s a certain level of preparedness that must go into a successful lifestyle change. Meaning, you gotta first wrap your mind around it. Transitioning from bad habits to good ones takes times and careful investigation. I know for me, it was all about classes and learning opportunities. I guess without even knowing it, I was trying to find physical activities that I actually enjoyed. Ironically enough, this is a real thing! The contemplation/preparation period is the mental work that goes into beginning an exercise habit. Anyway, I found my way into several free mau thai classes throughout New York City. I was pivot kicking and elbowing like a pro by my 5th class. I LOVED it! It took me back to the days when my father used to plant me in front of a mirror and coach me on how to throw a punch, tucking my thumbs and keeping my fists covering my face. I fake thought I was a G. But let me not digress. I enjoyed knocking the air out of the bag and kicking the pad. It was exhilarating. That’s when I got my first real dose of endorphins. ‘What’s the big deal about endorphins’, you ask?

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In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

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Chile, boo. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is. You owe it to yourself to find physical activities that you love! I’ve done some of the work for you and brainstormed a list of some cool specialty activities that may get your juices flowing:
Aquatic Classes (swimming) – I know, I tried it. Lol.
Pilates – all my mocha lattes
Dodgeball /Kickball– for your kid within
Stepping – seriously, join a team and watch the sweat drip
Pole Dancing – get your life for your man!
Pick Up Sports – think college intramurals
Karate – chop, chop
Mau Thai – the art of eight limbs
Thai Kwon Do – so much chopping here
Zumba – afro latin fusion
African Dance – learn the original twerk
Hip Hop Dance – learn the new twerk
Walking Clubs – a lil walk n’ talk never hurt nobody
Running Clubs – get your “runner’s high”
Hot Yoga – Mrs. Incredible
Or if you want one on one attention, I offer affordable packages. Ladies, there are so many ways to get into this whole exercise thing. Start today and set a goal of finding at least two activities that work for you.  😉
Xo,
Jazz