Sometimes working out at home doesn’t require any equipment, and sometimes it can be helpful to use some simple pieces that will improve your workouts and increase the level of fitness you achieve. There are two different types of balls that you can purchase that aren’t expensive. They do take up a bit of room in your home, so if you don’t have the room to consider these for storage, you might want to find another kind of workout to do at home.
The swiss ball is also called a stability ball. They come in several different sizes to accomodate the different sizes we all come in. When you purchase a swiss ball you should be able to sit on it when it is fully inflated so your feet are flat to the floor and your hips and knees as close to 90 degrees as possible.
Many of the Swiss balls or stability balls you purchase come with hand pumps that allow you to get it pumped up at home without any other piece of equipment. No need to have a bike pump at home. Just read the box and make sure the one you purchase has the pump.
A weight ball is also called a medicine ball. They are about the size of a basketball and come in different weights to accomodate different needs of the athlete. Obviously, these are smaller and can be stored in the home inside closets or in the corner behind desks or dressers.
The medicine ball can be purchased at althetic stores or online. Read the boxes carefully to purchase the weight you want. Remember that as you hold a weight away from the body the amount of pressure on your lower back and arms will be greater than the actual weight. For most people, starting out with a 5 pound ball is enough to start building muscle.
And, interestingly, the medicine ball was used as long ago as Hippocrates time when he filled animal skin pouches with sand to get the same effect.
The repetitions and number of sets you use will depend upon the intensity of the fitness program you want to use. The important piece to remember when using these balls at home is to use the best form you can. So the number of reps and set will be determined by the number you can do without breaking form.
If you have trouble deciphering if you are using proper form, and there is no one else to watch, you might consider working out in front of a mirror. Another concern is that these weighted balls can be inadvertantly used as a weapon. If they slip out of your hand during a move they can be tossed at someone who isn’t expecting 5-25 pounds of ball being hurled at them.
Greatist: 25 Must Try medicine Ball Exercises
RealSimple: 15 Minute Full Body Exercise Ball Workout
MensHealth: Have a Ball Workout
BodyBuilding: Is Swiss Ball Training for YOu?
Fitness magazine: Our Top 8 Stability Ball Exercises
Lean It Up: Carve Out Your Abs with These 8 Killer Swiss Ball Exercises