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SHOULDER PRESS Works: Chest, shoulders, back Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding ball in front of chest with bent elbows. Press ball to ceiling. Lower to front of chest.
Posted: Wednesday June 27, 2012, 3:32 PM

Fitness fads come and go, but look around any gym and you'll see at least one big, inflatable rubber ball. The stability ball — also known as the balance ball, physio ball or Swiss ball — made the transition from physical therapy offices to gyms in the early '90s and has stuck around as a proven exercise tool. To read the rest of this story, click here.

Fit Tips:

Matt Bansch, the director of the Bolger FitnessCenter at the Ridgewood YMCA and YWCA of Bergen County, offers these tips for using a stability ball:

  • Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Choose the correct size ball for your height: If you’re shorter than 5 feet, use a 45-cm ball; from 5- to 5-foot-6, use a 55-cm ball; from 5-foot-7 to 6-foot-1, use a 65-cm ball; from 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-8, use a 75-cm ball.
  • When you are in a seated position, your hips and knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle; your knee to ankle should form a 90-degree angle as well. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  • Always warm up before engaging in stability ball exercises or any other type of demanding physical activity.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart for increased stability. After a few weeks, try moving your feet closer together to make it harder to balance.
  • Maintaining proper posture is important, especially for ball exercises. Keep your back straight and abs engaged, and prevent your elbows and knees from locking while performing each exercise.
  • Focus on breathing properly.

For a free pass to a BALListic class at the Ridgewood YMCA and YWCA of Bergen County, call Carol Livingstone at 201-444-5600, ext. 330, or email her at clivingstone@ridgewoodymca.org.

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