Stability Ball Exercises for a Strong, Toned Back

The stability ball, also called an exercise ball, is a superb way to improve your strength, flexibility and muscle tone. You can focus on your whole body or work specific muscle groups. Warm spring days are just around the corner and so are backless, short-sleeve and sleeveless fashions. You will want your shoulders, upper back and arms to be toned and firm for spring and summer fashions and trips to the beach. Try these three upper body strengthening and toning stability ball exercises to get you in shape fast.
Performing push-ups using a stability ball adds an extra dimension of strengthening and toning to the regular push-up.  Begin with the stability ball underneath your body with your hands and feet on the floor. Keep your palms flat on the floor directly under your shoulders. Breathe in and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Walk your body backward until the stability ball is under your stomach and extend your legs out, but keep your toes on the floor. Place your palms on the stability ball underneath your shoulders. Squeeze the ball with your hands and press upward with your arms to lift your body off the ball. Hold the position for a few seconds and then lower your body back toward the ball. Exhale when pushing upward and inhale when lowering your body back down. Keep your spine in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. 
Photo Credit:  LocalFitness.com.au
Leg extensions strengthen your chest, arms and upper back. Start by draping your body over a stability ball placed under your stomach. Place your hands palms down on the floor under your shoulders. Breathe out and tighten your abdominal muscles. Lift your feet off the floor and try to keep your legs together. Make a straight line with your body from your head to  your heels. Point your toes for maximum extension. Hold this position for a few seconds. The longer you can  hold the position, the better. Exhale, relax and then repeat the extension. 

Concentrate on your back and shoulders with a shoulder extension workout. Position yourself on the stability ball with it in the middle of your body and your hands and feet on the floor. Stretch out your legs, but keep your toes on the floor. Walk backward until the ball is directly underneath your stomach and both legs are stretched out straight with your toes on the floor. Stretch your arms straight out in front of your body. Try to keep your body straight and avoid arching your back. Slowly bring your arms back until you form a Y shape. Continue bringing  your arms back until they are straight out from the shoulder and form a T shape. Hold this position for a few seconds and then bring your arms back to the start position. Breathe out and repeat the exercise. 
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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