women

Shape up fast with these simple moves

There are many ways a gym ball can help improve your balance and core strength. You can use it to work your entire body while maintaining your centre of gravity, or you can mix up your routine – the four training methods described below will help you get the most out of your workouts. When you’re next in the gym, give these exercises a try, in addition to your regular routine. After a few weeks, you’ll notice a more toned and lean body.


Description: Description: Matt Roberts’ masterclass

Matt Roberts’ masterclass

 

Pelvic tilt drills

Gym ball reverse curls

Lie on your back, legs straight up in the air. Hold the gym ball between your legs and lift your hips and lower back off of the floor, tilting your pelvis towards your ribcage, while keeping your upper back and head still in contact with the mat. Lower your torso back to the ground slowly and repeat. Perform three sets of 15 reps.

Benefits

This exercise is particularly useful if you have a downward-tilted (anteriorly rotated) pelvis. It directly works your deep core muscles, the rectus abdominis, and plays a role in adjusting pelvic tilt as it uses your external obliques (the muscles on the sides of your torso). It’s also great for improving posture.

Dynamic bracing drill

Gym ball figure of eights

Lying on your back, come up to a bridge position with your feet on the floor and your elbows resting on a gym ball. Keeping your core engaged, perform a figure of eight with your elbows unbalancing the ball. Perform eight in one direction, followed by eight in the opposite direction. Repeat three times. If you have a tight chest or shoulders, take care not to round your upper back.

Benefits

Bracing your core is vital for stabilising your lower back. When you have achieved basic core endurance (ie you can perform the drill for 40 seconds), you will need to make the exercise more dynamic, for example, with a press-up. You don’t need to do more than 45 seconds on basic drills to develop core strength.

Hip extension drill

Ball bridges

Lying on your back, place your feet on the ball, legs straight. Slowly raise your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Perform three sets of 20 lifts.

Benefits

Building endurance in your back and glutes will help stabilise your spine.

Description: Description: Working with a gym ball can tone your entire body

Working with a gym ball can tone your entire body


Rotation drill

Walking lunge with rotation

Holding the gym ball out in front of your chest, step forward with your right leg and bend both knees to 90º so that you are in a lunge position. Your back leg should be almost touching the ground, and make sure your front knee doesn’t extend beyond your toes. Keeping your back vertical, rotate your torso to the right, then step forward with your left leg, lunging and rotating as before. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions on each side.

Benefits

This is an advanced drill, so you’ll need good core strength in order to perform this move. In turn, it will strengthen and stabilize your hips and lumber spine.

Matt Roberts is the UK’s leading celebrity personal trainer, with clients including David Cameron and Mel C. To find out more, go to mattroberts.co.uk

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