When it comes to fitness, there is no magic bullet. Hard work will trump gadgets or specialized routines when you measure results. Ideally you would have an Olympic trainer creating and supervising your fitness workouts in your private gym, supplemented by visits by your personal nutritionist, who would plan meals prepared by your private chef. That is just not the reality for most of us. While there may not be a magic bullet, few pieces of exercise equipment give you more bang for your buck than a Mediball. The advantage to a Mediball is its instability. It’s round. Therefore, you must use your muscles, mostly your core muscles, to keep it stable while you exercise. In addition, a Mediball is inexpensive and can be purchased at any reputable retailer of fitness or medical supplies. Below are five exercises with a Mediball to help you achieve a full body workout. Let’s get started!
1. One legged Squat. When you squat with both legs, your stronger leg can compensate for your weaker leg. When you do a one legged squat, each leg must act independently. However, the raised leg can still act as a compensator providing extra support for your weaker leg. When you balance your raised leg on a Mediball, not only must your working leg carry the full load, but your core muscles must balance your body as you are no longer able to lean against a stable surface. These will get you breathing quickly in a hurry.
2. Hamstring Curl. After hitting your quadriceps with the one legged squats, you turn to the hamstrings with Mediball hamstring curls. Lay flat on your back with arms extended to the sides for stability. Place your feet on top of the ball. Lift up keeping your core firm and your back straight. Roll the ball towards you by bending your knees and lifting your hips in a slow controlled motion. You may need to start just by holding your body in a straight-line position. Over time, build up to four to six repetitions. When you can achieve six repetitions without losing form, add a second set.
3. Mediball Pushup. You have two options with this one. Perform the pushup with your feet on the ball or with your hands on the ball. The former will emphasize your upper chest and shoulders. The instability of ball will work your abs and ancillary muscles to help keep you balanced. The latter option is generally considered more challenging as you must balance your upper body with your hands and arms. To perform the exercise with your feet on the ball, lay on the ball so that you can touch the ground with both your feet and hands. Slowly walk your hands out until the ball rests below your thighs, shins or feet, depending on your fitness level. Slowly lower your upper body until you achieve a full stretch in your chest. Repeat up to eight reps with good form. The hands on the ball version requires you to kneel next to the ball and place your hands on the ball in the push up position. Squeeze the ball and while maintain tension in your core, push away from the ball. Repeat for up to eight repetitions with good form.
4. Mediball Tricep Dip. Any exercise that requires you to push with your arms is going to involve the chest and shoulders to some extent. The idea is to limit their involvement in this movement and instead to emphasize the triceps. This is best achieved by using the Mediball to perform tricep dips. The further forward your body is positioned front of your arms, the less you will use your chest and the more you will use your arms. The easier version requires you to perform the exercise with your feet on a Mediball and your arms on a bench or chair. In the more advanced version, you will place your feet on a bench or chair and your hands on the Mediball. The advanced version will challenge your balance and strength. Make sure you have a soft landing area until you are confident about your ability.
5. Inverted Mediball Rows. The best way to exercise your biceps without weights is to do pull ups. If you don’t have a bar or are unable to do many pull ups, then you should try inverted Mediball rows. You will need a desk or a table. Lay on your back under the table and reach up and grab the edge with an inverted grip. Place your feet on the Mediball and stabilize your core. Slowly and in a controlled manner lift your body off the ground and as close to the tabletop as possible. Lower yourself slowly and complete up to eight reps.
Exercise is an important part of feeling and looking your best. Studies have shown that if you can find the time for some form of exercise a few times a week, you will reap most of the benefits of longer more strenuous routines. A Mediball is an inexpensive piece of equipment that you can purchase at any online supplier of fitness equipment or medical supplies. You many not have the resources of an Olympian, but a Mediball is a fun cheap alternative when time and money are in short supply.
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