Wouldn't it be great if there were some piece of home-exercise equipment that you could use for your abs that recruited twice as many muscles as traditional crunches? Well there is and believe it or not, it costs less than $30...it is the one thing I recommend everybody has in there home if they want great abs for tennis...the stability ball (also known as Swiss Ball).
The instability created by the ball which calls on you to stabilize yourself, is what doubles the results. A recent study done at California State University found that work on the ball activated more muscles than even yoga/Pilates inspired workouts. If you have ever done yoga or Pilates before, you know that this is saying alot, as these forms of fitness can provide quite a challenge to your abdominals.
How To Choose The Proper Size Ball
The following are typical recommendations:
*If you are 5'1"- 5'7", look to use a 55 cm ball.
*If you are 5'8" and taller, look to use a 65 cm ball.
There are alot of great balls out there, but Gymnic Plus has a latex-free vinyl, and burst resistant ball that is great. You can get it from Perform Better (see link on the right)
As with anything, just getting the ball is the first step and knowing what to do with it is the next step.
To get you started, I wanted to give you 2 basic exercises on the stability ball, so if you still don't have one, stop putting it off and go get one this weekend!
1. Stability Ball Basic Crucnch
2. Stability Ball Oblique Crunch
Level 1: 1 set, 12 reps of each
Level 2: 1 set, 15 reps of each
Level 3: 1 set, 20 reps of each
These exercises should be done a minimum of 3x a week, every other day for at least two weeks or until you can get 20 reps of each. Remember to perform the repetitions slowly...apply quality to the quantity for best results.
To be continued...