The exercise ball (stability ball) is a great tool, and doing the chest press on a ball will increase your core stability.
Core stability is important for functional and athletic performance, and having a strong core can help to prevent injury.
It's not always necessary to use an exercise ball, but if your goal is to increase core stability, the exercise ball will definitely assist in that goal.
Because the ball is unstable, your core muscles will have to work harder to keep your body stable. And because your body will be less stable when compared to a bench your shoulder stabilizers will have to work harder to keep the dumbbells in the correct position.
Lastly, because your lower body supports your weight, your hips and glutes will be strengthened at the same time your balance and coordination improves.
Doing the chest press on a ball will make your shoulders, core, and hips all work a little harder. For this reason, you will have to use a lighter weight when you are on the ball compared to a bench.
Here are pictures and instructions for this chest exercise.
Starting Position: Begin by sitting on the ball and hold 2 dumbbells.
Then, slowly walk yourself forwards until your hips are off the ball and your head and upper back are supported on the ball.
Keep your feet facing forwards and firmly on the floor or place, and keep your palms facing down.
Form: While keeping your core tight, exhale and press the dumbbells up towards the ceiling. Pause for a brief moment and then slowly lower to the starting position.
Personal Trainer Tips: Make sure you engage your core muscles so that your body remains stable throughout, and move in a slow and controlled manner.
You can challenge your stability further by placing your feet closer together.
There are so many different ways to challenge your core stability while lifting weights for your upper body.
You can change the way you move your arms (2 arms, alternating arms, or 1 arm at a time). You can change your base of support (e.g. bringing your legs closer together). And you can use tools that are unstable, like the exercise ball.
If your goal is to increase your core stability, then try adding in exercises using a stability ball.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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