During one of our workouts recently, Marilyn and I were discussing the best way to go about setting up a home gym. Some people have a room dedicated to that purpose (Marilyn aptly calls hers “The Oxygen Room” cause she says she can breathe in there), but most of us have to make do with multi-purposing our space. There’s also the matter of cost. At the high end are gym-quality machines like treadmills or ellipticals that can cost $1000 or more, at the low end are resistance bands or a jump rope. (Don’t mention ‘jump rope’ to Marilyn; she gets testy.)
Whether you’re starting a workout regime or want to add something new to your home gym, I believe nothing beats a stability ball.
- Versatility: Stability balls can work just about any muscle in your body. It’s a fun and different way to do hamstring curls, push-ups, squats, planks, and so many more exercises. People of all fitness levels can use it because it’s easy to adjust the difficulty of the exercise by making minor adjustments either to the exercise itself or to the position of the ball. Here you can see Marilyn doing a V-Up with a ball transfer and a single leg hamstring curl – just one way to up the difficulty of her workout.
Stability balls are endlessly versatile, effective and affordable. I use mine all the time!
- Effectiveness: A stability ball will work muscles that you don’t even know exist! You may not always feel it and you may not always be sore the next day, but I guarantee that your muscles are working. Even something as simple as sitting on the ball and trying to balance will engage all of the little (but critical) core muscles that help you stand up straight. Using a stability ball for hamstring curls not only works your hamstrings but also your glutes, quads, and all the little stabilizer, extensor and flexor muscles around your knee. This is super effective for Marilyn because she’s got a chronic knee injury and we need to keep the muscles adjacent to that knee strong.
- Cost: This may be the number one reason I recommend a stability ball. It’s hard to find any piece of equipment that can do as much as a stability ball can for about $15. I like the TKO Fitness Ball (make sure to get the right size, most people use a 55cm). It comes with a pump as well as a chart of exercises for you to try.
Marilyn and I use a stability ball nearly every time we work out together. It’s endlessly versatile, effective, and an unbelievable bargain. I believe it’s the number one piece of equipment you’re gonna want for your home gym.
Get more ideas for your workout at www.performancecolorado.com.
Go get your sweat on!