The Outdoor Ball Workout
Our previous workouts have involved kettlebells, rowing machines and barbells but all you need for this routine is you and a ball! That's why it's the perfect outdoor workout. Whether you're on the courts, in a field or on the beach, simply grab a football, basketball or volleyball and you're good to go. If the weather's not so good, you can also complete this workout in the gym using a medicine ball.
To ensure your body is in the optimum position to reap the benefits of this workout, warm up with this quick routine:
- Jog on the spot for 30 seconds
- 10 star jumps
- Jog on the spot with high knees for 30 seconds
- 10 forward lunges on each leg
- Jog on the spot for 30 seconds
When you're ready to get started perform 10 reps of each of these exercises.
Lunge with twist
Hold the ball against your chest with both hands. As you lunge forward with your right leg fully extend your arms. Then twist at the waist to your right, bring your arms back to the front and return to the start position. Repeat with opposite leg. If the ball is too heavy to hold with arms extended, simply keep it against your chest when you lunge forward.
By engaging your core, glutes and quads, this exercise is a great way to improve your lower body strength and balance.
Drop down into a press-up position but with your right hand on the floor, your left hand on the ball. Keep your abs tight and body straight as you bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, then push up to the start position. Roll the ball across and repeat with your right hand on the ball, left hand on the floor.
Using the ball forces your body to work harder to stay stabilised, so this exercise is particularly effective at targeting your core, shoulders and chest.
With legs hip-width apart, hold the ball with both hands above your head with arms fully extended. Squat down keeping the ball above your head and arms straight and hold for a beat. Push through your heels to return to the start position.
This routine will work wonders for your shoulders, arms, back, glutes and quads.
Single leg hip bridge
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and arms at your side. Put your left foot on the ball and straighten your right leg so it points upwards. Push from the heel of your left foot and lift your hips off the floor, then bring them back down to the floor. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
Making this a regular part of your routine will help tone and strengthen your thighs and glutes.
Lie flat on your back with your arms outstretched above your head and the ball held between your ankles. Lift the ball up towards your middle and grab it with your hands. Keeping your arms straight bring the ball back behind your head so it taps the floor, then bring the ball back to your middle and 'pass' it to your ankles and lower your legs towards the ground. Don't let your feet touch the ground at any point. That's one rep.
Not only will this exercise tone and strengthen your inner thighs, it will target your upper and lower abs.
Lie on your stomach with arms straight in front of you holding the ball and head face down. At the same time, raise your arms, chest and legs off the floor, hold for two beats, then slowly lower to start position. That's one rep.
This exercise isolates and strengthens the muscles in your lower back, which in turn will give you a stronger core.
V press up
Adopt a classic press up pose but with both hands on the ball so your thumbs and forefingers make a diamond shape. Slowly lower your chest towards the ball and return to start position. That's one rep.
Your triceps, chest and core will reap the benefits from this fun press-up alternative.
Ab Roll out with ball
Get into a plank position but with both forearms on the ball. Slowly move your elbows forward and then bring them back to the start position. The further forward you go the harder the exercise will be. If you find it too tricky you can drop your knees to the floor. Either way, the benefits include a stronger core.
The best time to stretch is when your body is warm and flexible following a workout. Stretches also help reduce the likelihood of muscle soreness. So to cool down, try some of these stretches:
- Arm stretch: keeping your arms straight perform a forward circular motion. Then reverse the motion to a backwards circular motion.
- Quad stretch: use your right hand to pull your right foot behind you towards your bum. Repeat with opposite leg.
- Side reach stretch: with feet hip-width apart, raise your right arm and reach up and over your head to the left. Repeat with opposite arm.
- Back stretch: kneel down so your bum rests on your feet and reach forward with both hands on the floor. Drop your head and hold.
Have fun, and don't forget that if you take a selfie during this workout or want to let us know what your favourite ball exercise is, contact us using the hashtag #impuregymmotivated