Yoga ball exercises can help a person improve her balance, core strength, and flexibility. Standard exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups can be done on a yoga ball, transforming them into exercises that work many muscles groups in the body. A yoga ball, also know as a fitness ball or stability ball, is suitable for people who do not have much space in their homes for exercise equipment. Yoga ball exercises are also suitable for a person who is just beginning an exercise routine.
The basic sit-up or crunch can be turned into a yoga ball exercise. A person should sit on the ball with thighs parallel to the floor and knees hip width apart. He should start upright, with his arms crossed across his chest, and then lean back slightly, tightening his abdominal muscles and holding for three breaths. Then she should straighten up again, using the stomach muscles to move.
A variation on the sit-up involves lying on the middle or lower back on the top of the ball, with the feet shoulder width apart and the hands behind the head. A person should then sit up, using the abdominal muscles and taking care not to pull or strain the neck. The crunch can be made even more challenging by lifting one leg off the floor as a person sits up.
Other yoga ball exercises include variations on the common push-up. A person should lie on the ball on the stomach, place her palms flat on the floor, and then walk herself up until the ball is under her thighs. For more of a challenge, he can place the ball under his calves or ankles. He should then engage his stomach muscles, pulling them toward the back as he bends the elbows, lowering the upper body toward the floor. The lower position should be held for several seconds. Then she should unbend her elbows and lift her body back up into a straight plank.
A person can also do several yoga ball exercises that involve squats. One type of yoga ball squat involves standing with the ball between a wall and the small of the back. The feet should be hip width apart and the hands placed on the hip. The person should slowly bend her knees, squatting down and bringing the ball down the wall with her. He should slowly stand again, making sure to keep the ball against the back and the wall. Another squat involves lifting the ball over head while bending the knees. The person should hold the squat for a second or two and then slowly straighten up, keeping the ball above her head.