The balance ball is an exceedingly cool tool! I have one and use it often – especially for my abs, which are always a problem area. Have you ever done a set of crunches? They suck. At least, I think so. But a balance ball makes them more fun – and more powerful and the Balance Ball Beginners® DVD with Suzanne Deason will help you to figure it out because they’re definitely a bit tricky. You can land right on your butt if you’re not careful – but the rewards are worth it.
Why are exercise balls so powerful? Simply because you have to stay balanced which adds an extra layer of strength to your workouts. Don’t believe that it makes any difference? Get a balance ball and sit on it while you watch a half hour TV show. You will see that there is a lot to be gained from balance ball exercises. I have a couple of books to help me figure it out but my DVD is better because I can see Suzanne demonstrating what to do while I sit/lie/exercise on the ball.
A balance ball works your core, a term that has become quite popular in the last few years. We use core muscles in everything we do and if they’re weak and flabby (mine are medium – used to be The Flabby Core Queen) it affects our posture, all our organs and every movement we make – and not in a good way, obviously. Our entire body benefits from a strong core and women, especially those of us who’ve had children, are especially weak in this area. So consider the balance ball and here are three tips to help you choose wisely.
Three of Suzanne’s Tips For Choosing Your Balance Ball
Balance ball size is critical
Your ball needs to be the right size! My daughter is shorter than I am and after my granddaughter was born I took her one of my balls to help reduce her tummy. Big mistake. It was way too big and her angle was so awkward that she couldn’t use it correctly. So I used the measurements below to buy her a new one and it fits her beautifully.
If you’re 4’11"-5’4" tall, choose a 55 cm ball
If you’re 5’5"-5’11" choose a 65 cm ball
If you’re 6’0"-6′ 7” choose a 75 cm ball
That’s why the exercise ball I gave her was the wrong size. I’m 5’8" and have a 65 cm ball – she’s just barely 5’4" so when I purchased the 55 cm ball all was well.
Be sure to properly inflate your ball
Every ball I’ve seen comes with its own pump, although they’re usually little plastic things that wouldn’t hold up to hard wear. No matter, though, since you won’t need to pump up the ball very often.
The ‘fullness’ level is critical. A mushy ball doesn’t feel good or challenge your muscles enough. You don’t want your ball to feel like a rock, plus the harder it is (meaning it is more inflated) the tougher it is to balance. That’s not a bad thing because we want to progress as rapidly as possible. The "perfect" balance is what feels right to you so experiment and see how you feel on your ball.
Sit on your new ball to get a feel for using it
Sounds kind of dumb, doesn’t it? After all, we sit every day so why should we need any practice? But a balance ball wants to roll out from under you and using your core muscles is necessary to stay on it.
And a tip based on personal experience: pay attention to what you’re wearing on your feet. My first try with the balance ball was tougher than it needed to be because I was wearing slippery socks. Bare feet or shoes with ridges or some sole that causes friction make it easier to keep your balance.
Why I Like The Balance Ball® Beginners Workout DVD with Suzanne Deason
There are more than 1 1/2 hours of balance ball exercise on this DVD. The exercises also include both yoga and pilates and you will definitely get a full-body workout. I like this DVD for one powerful reason: I enjoy doing the exercises! If you hate exercising you aren’t going to stick with it (unless you are so iron-willed that you already have a body like an Olympic champion).
Suzanne’s DVD includes two bonuses session of a daily stretch and a 60 minute workout, but I’ve never done either. I already walk, have my own stretching regimen and own a weight machine. They might be useful to others, though.
One More Reason To Like Balance Ball Exercises
Your investment is so minimal. A ball and Suzanne’s DVD are such a trivial investment in our health and beauty that most of us can easily afford it. And, if you buy from Amazon, you can return both if you’re unhappy.
I can verify from personal experience that the Balance Ball Beginners® DVD with Suzanne Deason is a winner for all the reasons mentioned above. Plus, she has other DVDs and, considering the quality of this one, I presume they’re excellent, too. She has a Balance Ball For Weight Loss DVD and multiples for yoga and pilates. As you might imagine, this woman is in GREAT shape!
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