Challenging the body in new ways aids it to grow and change. It brings in the fun element if you keep making changes in your fitness routine. Ball pushup is a great way to challenge your body. It activates the core muscles more in comparison to the regular push-ups. Making use of an unstable surface forces your abdominal muscles to recruit more fibers. It also changes the way you balance your body. If you are willing to take the core strength of the body to the next level, learn to execute the ball push-ups accurately. It is a total body workout that engages multiple muscles in your body at the same time. When a number of muscles are used in any exercise, more will be the number of calories burn with it. You can attempt the ball pushup using a medicine ball and or a stability ball.
Ball pushup works on the core and control of your body. In addition to this, it also fires up the chest, back and shoulder muscles in the body. You can either place your hand or feet on the ball depending upon your comfort level. If you place your feet on the ball, then you can move around with it to accommodate to a different level of strength.
By moving your hands a few inches forward, you increase the intensity of the exercise. And if you decide to move your hands a few inches back, then you tend you ease up the exercise.
In this segment, we will discuss the technique involved in ball push-ups, the kind of ball pushup which can be attempted, the benefits of ball pushup and its comparison to other bodyweight exercises.
How to master the art of ball push-ups?
Stability ball push-ups are a good way to challenge the strength and balance that you possess and to take it to the new level.
Pushup instruction for medicine ball
1. Start in the normal push-up position with your hands beneath the shoulder and back in line with the shoulders.
2. Place one of the two hands on the medicine ball, keeping the other hand on the floor. Spread your feet fairly widely to create stability and control.
3. Now bend the elbow and lower towards the floor, to the point where your chest almost touches the floor.
4. Push yourself back in the initial position and attempt the desired number of reps.
Note, you can alternate the position of your hands, so as to keep maintain equilibrium in between the medicine ball push-ups.
You can also make use of three different medicine ball at the same time. Two balls for the hands and one for the feet. But remember, this variation of the medicine ball pushup requires immense control over the body and stability. It is the most difficult version of the ball push-up to be attempted.
Steps to attempt the correct stability ball push-up
1. Get in the plank position with your feet placed on the stability ball. Your hands must be shoulder width apart and directly beneath it.
2. Try to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to hips and hips to heels. Breathe in as you lower your chest almost touching the floor.
3. Now push yourself back in the plank position, which is also your starting position. Remember to breathe out as push up back. Keep the wrists in a neutral position as it will have to take a lot of pressure.
4. This completes one repetition. Repeat the desired number of repetitions or sets. As the ball adds instability feature in the exercise, the movements must be controlled and slow to avoid any injuries.
You can perform the push-ups using the medicine ball. You can try different position by placing the medicine ball underneath the hands or legs as required. In the next segment, we will discuss the medicine ball push-ups.
Standing ball pushup – A Simpler Variation
To this exercise stand a minimum of 4 to 5 feet away from the wall. Now place the medicine ball about 4 inches below the shoulder line and on the wall. Your right hand must be holding the ball against the wall. Press the left hand directly against the wall, while maintaining a shoulder-width distance between the two hands. Keep your feet wider and maybe stand on the toes instead.
Now engage the core and contract your abdominal muscles. Lower yourself against the wall, until your elbow comes to a 90-degree angle. Slowly push your body back to the initial position. This is a much simpler version of the ball pushup because the stress factor is reduced considerably by standing against the wall.
Benefits of ball push-ups – Muscles group it works on
The offset position of the ball forces the chest, shoulders, and core to stabilize the body as you attempt pushup. The side position of the ball pushup increases the range of motion thus activating a larger group of muscles in the body. Since larger muscles groups are involved in the exercise, the number of calories burned during attempting the exercise is also pretty high. This push-up can be extremely difficult, so it is recommended to work only one side at a time.
Number of reps and sets
This exercise is strictly for intermediate level. If you are a beginner, please do not attempt this exercise. It requires a lot of control and balance. Otherwise, it is quite possible that you might injure yourself.
For intermediate level, attempt 3 – 4 sets of 8 – 10 repetitions. Gradually increase the repetition and include this exercise with your full body workout.
For advanced level, attempt this at the start of your routine to do it for intensely. Do a minimum of 5 sets 8 – 10 repetition. If the exercise gets too hard, do it on only one side at a time.
Precautions While Performing Ball Pushup
To make this exercise a little more intense you can play around with the position of the ball. You can make use of two different medicine ball beneath both the hands. This will require more strength and balance from your side. You can also make use of weighted vest to increase the stress on the chest and shoulder muscles. If you are not able to do a normal ball pushup, try the knee position initially and gradually build your way up.
1. To maintain the correct form and posture of your body, keep looking forward. This will prevent the arching of the back.
2. If the variation of the exercise is a little too difficult, gain some muscle and strength from the regular push-ups or try the exercise with knee position.
3. If there is discomfort in your shoulder joints, do not continue with the exercise. Get some consultation from the doctors before moving ahead.
Ball pushup vs. other bodyweight exercises
Stability is one of the crucial factors when it comes to ball pushup exercises. It becomes extremely crucial to able to control and maintain the body balance on the ball. If not taken care of, ball pushup can turn out to be dangerous and might cause serious injuries.
Other bodyweight exercises like handstand pushup and planche pushup also require you to maintain a good balance of the body. But the lesser difficult variation of bodyweight exercises like regular pushup doesn’t need that much balancing abilities.
Because of the control required, this exercise becomes extremely challenging for the core.
You need to contract the ab muscles during the movement of the exercise. If you do not have the necessary strength required, this exercise becomes whole too difficult to be attempted. To gain the strength and balance from other less strenuous bodyweight exercises before attempting the ball pushup variation.
Including the ball pushup in your fitness routine is a great way to add the fun element to it. Your muscles get the chance to grow and be more stable. Medicine ball can bring in a lot of variety with itself. These weighted balls are around 2 to 25 pounds. The stability ball also allows you to sit or lie on it. Though the fitness or the stability ball tends to more lightly, they are bulky, and thus it becomes a little difficult to play around with them.
On the other hand, the medicine ball is more versatile, and you can attempt a number of exercise with it, other than pushup. You can throw them in the air or even toss them up. You can attempt different hand exercise with them, and it certainly increases your range of motion. Use the ball pushup in your fitness routine. Involve the fun element and start playing around with the stability or medicine ball. So go ahead and get the ball rolling.