A stability ball is a fun exercise prop that you can use to add variety to your stretching routine. These 5 stretches will help you to increase your flexibility and range of motion. As a bonus, performing your stretches with a ball also engages your core muscles and promotes better balance.
- Upper and lower back stretch: Kneel down in front of your ball. Stretch out your arms and lower your head between them. Put your hands on top of the ball. Sit back on your heels keeping your hips and knees facing straight ahead. Gradually lower your shoulders toward the floor to increase the stretch.
- Chest stretch: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold the ball behind you with your arms straight. Gradually lift the ball higher to maximize the stretch.
- Hip and inner thigh stretch: Lower yourself into a lunge position over the center of the ball. You can use one hand to keep the ball steady. Sink lower to intensify the stretch. Switch legs to work both sides of your body. To protect your knees in any lunge, keep the knee on your forward leg bent no further than a 90 degree angle. You should be able to see your toes.
- Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent facing a wall. Use your feet to hold your ball against the wall above you. Straighten your legs without locking your knees. To increase the stretch, move closer to the wall.
- Quadriceps stretch: Place your ball behind you. Lower yourself keeping one foot flat on the floor and the knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Place the opposite foot on top of the ball. Lunge forward from the hip to increase the stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.