In martial arts, you come face to face with any weaknesses you may have. You’re given a choice to strengthen or turn away.
The choice of equipment you use in martial arts and the type of custom workout plan you follow often reflects personal strengths and weaknesses as well as mental bias. I leave the benefits of discussing what is right or what is wrong to the students of philosophy and ethics. Here, we are concerned with what is effective.
Stability ball is effective, and it can be downright dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. And the value of stability ball exercises is often lost to serious athletes because of the pictures they see and internal bias. Try these two exercises yourself and see how effective they are.
I chose these exercises for intermediate level of fitness. Be careful in how you use them. Remember that stability ball it’s supposed to be unstable and your first order of business is to position your body in a way that does not mask instability. For example, you could widen your stance that essentially creates a very stable tripod between your feet and the stability ball. That positioning is not very challenging for intermediate level fitness. Bring your feet together and form a straight line between your feet and the ball. In this straight-line position, you need to engage your core and your neuromuscular control to benefit from exercise.
The first exercise is a plank the second one is a push-up.
For the plank, place elbows on top of the ball and form a straight line between the ball and your feet. Straight-line means that you don’t push your butt up in the air and form a tent or let your hips sage down towards the floor. One straight-line also means that you keep your feet together and not apart. Try to hold this position for one minute. You’ll notice how your entire body including your obliques and glutes fire to keep you balanced.
For the push-up, use the same set up. Instead of your elbows, place your hands on the ball in close diamond configuration you may be familiar with for triceps workouts. The purpose of this narrow hand position is to narrow your base of support. A narrow base of support with your hands and a narrow base of support with your feet creates maximum stability and balance challenge for you to even hold this position. Now try to do push-ups from this position. These exercises are designed for those at intermediate level fitness to move to advance level exercises. These stability ball exercises are not designed to hurt you. If you feel any pain or discomfort other than muscular exertion stop and have your condition checked by health professional.