by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Why the need for a gym full with expensive equipment when you can get a total body strength and cardio workout with just using a variety of balls indoor and outdoor?
I am pretty sure that most of us, at one moment or another, wanted to physically release stress by punching a wall, hitting something using a golf club, or kicking a ball really hard. But, like the civilized people that we are, we can’t go around causing disorder in the our society.
Even though stress can really get the best of us if we allow it to take over our mind and body, we have many positive ways that help us deal with it and we should take advantage. And due to the serious impact it can have on us, stress relief balls were invented to help lower its levels. So, why not do some kicking, running, lifting, and throwing of balls to reduce that level of stress in a more entertaining and less troublesome way?
Put together a bunch of balls such as, a soccer ball, basketball, volleyball, or even a medicine ball and then come up with some drills using them as weights, cones, or to create instability.
There is a variety of exercises that you can come up with that include the use of sports balls. For example, give this drill a shot:
Lift and Go
Place two balls, one basketball and the other a soccer ball, next to each other on the ground, and then place a third ball (a medicine ball would be best for weight) about 15 feet away. Starting on the side with the two balls lift one up and run, slide side to side, or even dribble the ball between your legs to the other side and back. Once you reach the other side, switch balls, leaving the one you had and lifting up the medicine ball. This switch from a light ball to a heavy one will build on your strength and resistance with extra weight to give an extra burn on fat. You should continue to repeat the same process until you have moved each ball about ten to fifteen times or up until you start to feel the burn in your muscles.
Medicine Ball Sit-Ups
Another workout routine that you can try out with a medicine ball is sit-ups. Take a 10 pound medicine ball and rest your body in an upright sit-up position. Onces in position, commence the exercise as you would normally do, just that as you lean backwards towards the ground, extend your arms with hands on ball over your head. As you raise back up, bring the ball forward over your legs. After repeating this process for a good fifty times, you can top off the exercise by placing yourself at a mid-way sit-up position and move the ball from side to side while holding your abs tight. This will give your abs an extra intense burn.
Here is a favorite game I remember to have loved playing when I was a child. It is called, OUT. This game can be played one on one or in groups, which for me, is even better. In this workout, you have to catch the ball being thrown at you as you jump in the air without letting it fall and as you come back down, do a squat, jump back up into the air and pass the ball back to your partner or another member in a group. Any ball can be used, but again, I recommand a medicine ball. Oh! The best part of it all, is the penalty for letting the ball drop. For every time you don’t catch the ball in the air, you are diciplined with 20 push-ups on the ground. I, personally, used to drop the ball on purpose to get an extra burn in the workout every now and then.
This workout is something that’s beneficial not only for men and women, but also for children. Children love to participate in any sport or workout that has anything to do with involving a sports ball and they seem to always come up with pretty interesting forms of making it fun for the ride. So, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include your child in on the fun to get you motivated and going to the limit. Aside from that, your child will have the key to success as he/she grows with low stress levels at school, home or even work.
Be creative and form a whole circuit in your backyard or the park using the balls to do off balance pushups, put some extra weight to lunges/squats, slam into the ground… the possibilities are endless!