Stability Ball Stretch
Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2014
You are probably familiar with the stability ball. If you have ever gone to a gym or a place like it you have probably seen them. They are a great tool to use. They have even found their way into offices. Some people use them to sit on instead of office chairs. A small group of women I worked with when I was still in the corporate world tried using them as chairs. They work fine to sit on. They can give you an extra reminder to engage your core and not slouch, but they were very inconvenient when it came to moving and rolling. I mean there is a reason office chairs have wheels. I never even realized how often I rolled around at my desk until I had the ball. It was most inconvenient and took up extra time. They have bases that the ball can set into. I do not know if they have wheels. I am also not clear on that whole concept. I thought the idea of sitting on the ball was to balance yourself on the ball, therefore using a lot of extra muscles. So with the ball in a base that holds it balanced, it is not clear to me what the benefit is. Well, that is where we can turn it around and I can show you a nice benefit to the stability ball. A nice open-the-front-of-the-body stretch.
I have already showed you the Stability Ball Pass (click here for that) and the Hamstring Curls (click here for that) in two separate posts. Those are two great exercises you can do with the stability ball. This post is about a stretch. Easy, plain, simple. It is like the stretch on the roller but much bigger, more intense.
You start by sitting on the ball, then walk your feet out away from the ball. Allow yourself to roll on the ball from tailbone to full spine. Stop at the point where your back is fully supported by the ball. Your neck is about at the start of the curve where the crown of your head is hanging over the “edge” of the ball. You can start small with your arms by keeping your elbows bent. (As shown in the first picture.) Your hands near your face. If this is a big stretch for you, just let your arms hang in the bent elbow position.
If you are looking for a much bigger stretch allow your hands to go over your head and let your arms hang. You can adjust and experiment with your arms more “directly” over your head or with your arms wide and your hands over your head, but out to the side. Both positions a great stretch for the upper arm muscles, but the target muscles are slightly different. You will be able to sense it and decide which is best for you at the moment.
This is good for opening up and stretching the front of your body, your chest and abs. Your back gets a little stretch in the form of a small back bend, but it is the front upper half of the body that you can really sense it. I love this stretch!
How about you? Are you familiar with this one? Do you love it?