Pilates is a form of exercise that was created over eighty years ago. The Pilates style focuses on strengthening your body, including your spine. It is used by many who want to strengthen their posture and many dancers also use the Pilates method.
The equipment you need to participate in a Pilates program is fairly minimal and inexpensive. One such piece of equipment commonly used in the exercises is a Pilates ball. This is used by almost everyone who participates in the Pilates program because it is such an all-around useful piece of work-out equipment.
The Pilates ball is also said to be one the most favorite by consumers who have rated it. It takes just a small amount of practice to get the full benefits of using it. It helps you have better balance and can tone your muscles.
The Pilates ball can be used in any sized room, whether you have a small area to work out in or a large one. Many users are even taking it to their office with them to use during breaks. Most reviewers of the exercise ball say that it is also the most fun piece of equipment they own.
When purchasing your Pilates ball, make sure you purchase the correct size for your height and weight. If the ball that you buy doesn’t come with a pump, be sure to purchase a small one so you can continue to keep the ball inflated properly.
The Pilates ball is said to be able to give you a total body work-out, which is great for a single, inexpensive piece of equipment. Before using your ball use a pump to inflate it to the proper size by following the instructions that will be included.
Some of the types of exercises usually done with a ball are for the stomach, chest, legs and abs. It is also said to provide good exercise for better balance and a stronger spine.
Many who suffer from spine problems use the ball as a gentle strengthening tool. You can also do stomach exercises by simply rolling yourself over the ball. The types of exercises that can be done with your Pilates ball are countless.
Pilates With an Exercise Ball
Participating in the art and exercise program of Pilates covers many areas of health and the strengthening of the body. It focuses on balance and working out specific areas of the body to tone muscles, along with providing support for better posture.
It can enhance strength and muscle definition. Using the Pilates program with an exercise ball not only helps strengthen your muscles but can also make your exercise regiment more fun. The types of exercises in the Pilates program with a ball is endless.
Using a ball should be done correctly to avoid injury. If you are unsure how to correctly use the exercise ball you might consider joining a Pilates class that uses exercise balls as part of the program. You can also buy video’s or DVD’s to use at home in order to learn the correct way to use the exercise ball with your Pilates program.
A few of the guidelines for using an exercise ball are basically common sense. Don’t exercise when you have a full stomach. Doing your Pilates with an exercise ball when you have just eaten may make for an uncomfortable session. Also do not drink a lot of liquids before exercising.
Always wear comfortable clothing while doing Pilates with an exercise ball. It is best to practice barefoot when possible, but if not, use a pair of socks that have a non-skid surface on the bottom.
Try to practice your ball exercises in a room that has plenty of fresh air, or is properly ventilated. Also make sure the room you practice in is large enough to allow you to use your exercise ball without running into others or walls.
Another well known guideline for doing Pilates with an exercise ball is to use the signs your body gives you. If you are extremely uncomfortable in a certain position while using your exercise ball, then you should slowly come out of that position and try another.
Concentration is important while doing your Pilates with a ball. If the room you are in is very loud and noisy, causing you to have too many distractions, you won’t be able to have a good work-out. It’s also important to start out slowly using your exercise ball until you know how to properly use it.
Don’t over extend yourself in the beginning. Work at small exercises until you feel that you have built up enough strength to go on to a more advanced set of exercises. Make sure you inhale and exhale deeply while performing with a ball. Breathing correctly is a big part of the Pilates program.
Pilates Ball Exercises
A Pilates exercise ball is one of the most popular types of equipment used in the Pilates exercise program. It is also one of the least expensive of all types of exercise equipment. The Pilates exercise ball is used primarily to help with balance. Working with this ball with take a small amount of practice, but once you get the general idea of how to use it, it can provide a total work-out procedure.
Using the ball also helps promote strengthening in your legs and arms. One of the exercises commonly practiced with the Pilates exercise ball is done by laying on a mat on the floor or comfortable flat surface.
Bend the knees and have the heels of the feet resting on top of the ball. Slowly roll the Pilates exercise ball across the spine. Basically you are rolling the ball over your back in a slight back bend. Make sure that you are not putting all of your weight on your neck muscles. Use your heels during the roll to keep the Pilates exercise ball in place. This exercise will help stretch and strengthen your spine.
Another exercise commonly used with a Pilates exercise ball is one to strengthen your legs and hips. To do this exercise properly you need to sit on the ball at the end of your exercise mat or the floor. Slowly use your feet to walk them away from the ball until your shoulders are resting on it.
Your hips will be lifted so that they are aligned with your shoulders. Your ankles should be lined up with your knees. Hold this position for two or three seconds, then slowly use your feet to go back towards the ball. Repeat approximately 5 times.
Mastering the skills used in properly exercising with your Pilates exercise ball may take some time, but it is well worth the effort for this all-around program. The stability exercises will increase the strength all of your muscles, especially the hamstrings. Pilates exercise balls come in many different colors and sizes.
It is important that you choose the correct size for your body height and weight. Most are made of a sturdy rubber product that is basically burst proof.