Meredith Nelson: Hi, I am Meredith Nelson with Prime Time Fitness on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. We have been showing you how to exercise with the stability ball. Now in this segment I am going to show you how to strengthen your upper body using the stability ball in your workout. My favorite upper body of all time is the push up. Anybody can perform push ups on the floor but add the stability ball and you have a whole new element to your workout.
To begin your push ups on the ball begin on the floor kneeling with the ball in front of you. Lie down on the ball, place your hands on the floor and walk forward and this alone is an exercise in balance. By requiring your core to work to hold your body up, you are really strengthening those abs, obliques and even your lower back. Position yourself so that ball is under your shins. Now if that is too difficult for you then you may want to stop with the ball directly under your knees as you do your push ups.
I am going to place the ball under my shins, from here holding your abdominals in tight, simply lower yourself down to the floor and then press back up. Nice and slow, nice and steady. Remember to breath, breath in as you lower down and exhale on the way up. Breath in on the way down and exhale as you come up.
Once you have mastered the push up on the ball, if you would like to give yourself an other challenge, you can walk forward a little bit more and even turn your toes under, this requires a whole lot more strength and stability. If you are really strong and you have got this one down, you can add another variation of performing the push up with one leg lifted off the ball. That's a really tough one. To come back off the ball simply walk your hands back, remember to keep your stomach tight, keep going until your feet and your knees touch the floor. Now I am going to demonstrate another upper body exercise using this stability ball, the dumbbell bench press. Of course you can perform a bench press on a bench. However using a ball instead of the bench requires you once again to engage your core so you get more out of the exercise.
Start with two dumbbells seated on the ball, simply walk forward just like we learned how to do in preparing for an abdominal crunch. In the bench press however you are going to go little bit farther so that you are resting on your head, neck and shoulders on the ball. Begin with the dumbbells by your shoulders palms facing forward and press up and bring the weights together right over your chest and then lower down. Now again remember to breath, exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down.
If you feel comfortable in this position, try bringing your feet closer together. Reducing the distance between your feet causes you to balance a little bit more engaging your core musculature even more than before. To come out of this position simply lower the weights, walk your feet back towards the ball and at the same time raise your chest and shoulders until you are fully seated.
Now I am going to show you some exercises for your lower body using the stability ball.