The Pilates method is a practice that consists of a set of postures or exercises in which it is possible to improve both physically and mentally, thanks to the development of body and mental control, stretching and toning of muscles and work with breathing. It was developed almost a century ago by Joseph Pilates and today it is still one of the most practiced disciplines worldwide.
Since its inception, this method has undergone variations and incorporations of new exercises. One of these changes has occurred when introducing positions where the ball or the ‘fitball’ is used. This tool allows you to do exercises that cannot be done without your help, incorporating new movements to achieve greater tonicity and greater control of the muscles. Here we explain the most effective Pilates ball positions.
Squats with ball
This is one of the most common Pilates with ball positions and the one that requires concentration in both legs and abdomen. Remember that it is important to warm up before doing Pilates. We explain below how to do this ball squat exercise:
- It is necessary to be near a wall to support the ball on it.
- Then you have to lean on the ball, standing and facing away from the wall, so that half of the ball is at the level of the lower back.
- When the position has been achieved, the trunk will be lowered, as if one wanted to perform the movement of sitting in a chair, focusing the movement on the buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings to avoid any type of knee damage.
- The position will be held for 20 seconds. Then the initial position will be recovered slowly, concentrating again on the mentioned parts.
It is recommended to perform this movement 5 times.
Scissors with ball
Another posture that is also widely used to tone and strengthen the muscles of the legs is the ball scissors. It is also a posture that requires a lot of concentration to perform the movement correctly, since a lot of balance is necessary.
- The ball is placed behind, so that one of the feet can be supported at the ankle at the top of the ball.
- The leg that is released and advanced will descend until an angle of 90 degrees is achieved with the ground.
- Then he slowly lifts his leg again to repeat the movement.
There will be three sets of five repetitions with each leg.
Bridge with ball
The bridge is one of the most used exercises for the development and toning of the muscles, since it practically isolates the muscles that perform the movement. If the use of the ball is incorporated, its effects are further enhanced.
- This exercise is done lying on the floor.
- The legs are placed on top of the ball, flexing the knees, as if you wanted to bring them to the chest, but without the feet losing contact with the ball.
- Then proceed to climb the trunk supporting the feet on the ball and focusing the force on the buttocks, raising the body towards the ceiling.
- The position is maintained for 10 secondsand then the starting position is recovered to perform the posture again.
It is advised to repeat the exercise 5 times.
Stretching abdomen in ball
One of the most common postures to exercise the abdomen is to perform the crunch of traditional abdomen but using the ball to improve the ability to balance and muscle concentration.
- To get into the starting position you have to place the ball on the ground and rest your shoulders and upper back on it.
- When the balance has been maintained in this position, the movement will proceed.
- It consists of concentrating all the force in the abdomen and throwing the torso forward, getting the shoulders and the upper part of the back to slowly separate from the ball.
- This position will be maintained for 10 secondsand slowly returned to the initial one, to repeat from the beginning.
Iron on ball
Another of the postures of Pilates with ball that helps in a very effective way to tone the abdomen is the iron. Its effects are enhanced by the use of the ball in this position.
- First the ball is placed on the ground and the forearms are supported on the top of the ball.
- The legs are then stretched, so that the body adopts a position parallel to the ground.
- It is very important to keep both the abdomen and the buttocks tight to avoid possible lumbar discomfort.
- The position must be maintained for 30 seconds. Then the body relaxes and repeats again.