A unique flexibility program is offered with the Resist-A-Ball® due to its dynamic nature. There are many benefits and advantages to stretching on the ball. We have listed several of these for your review. When attempting any of these stretches always begin in a position that is appropriate for your skill level. Remember that you have the added challenge of balance and stabilization because of the rolling nature of the ball. Controlling your movement is the key for efficient and injury free stretching exercises. We hope the exercises below will enhance and add variety to your flexibility program.
Benefits of Stretching with Resist-A-Ball®:
- With most stretches on the ball you have certain muscles working to stabilize the body as you focus on the muscles being stretched, resulting in increased strength gains.
- The ball allows smooth and rhythmic transitions as you roll into more intense stretches or into other positions.
- In most cases, the ball is providing a base of support, reducing stress on other joints.
- The ball enables you to achieve positions that are off the floor and its curved surface may also enable you to get into positions that are not possible on a floor or chair.
- The ball allows you to achieve positions that traction the spine, reducing compression and encouraging spinal muscles to relax.
- The ball is a valuable tool for flexibility for pre- and post-injury rehabilitation, proven in the physical therapy arena.
- Due to the balance challenge, the ball provides sensory motor challenges in various planes stimulating proprioceptive awareness.
- The ball encourages a sense of play resulting in a new and fun way to stretch and add variety to your programs.
MS = Muscle(s) Stretched
Seated Lateral Trunk Stretch (Hips dropped to side)
Shift your weight to one side as you let your hips drop toward the floor; reach overhead and laterally flex your spine.
MS - Quadratus Lumborum, Lats, Trapezius (lower fibers), Deltoids, Obliques
Supine Trunk Traction
Starting from an inclined position let your upper body drape back over the ball with the head supported. (One hand should be supporting the head.) Extend the legs as you continue to drape your body backwards over the ball. To return to an incline position, drop your hips and bend your knees keeping your head supported.
MS - Spinal Flexors; Hip Flexors (extended leg)
Prone Over Ball Trunk Traction
Center your weight on top of the ball until there is no tension on the lower back.
MS - Spinal Erectors
Supine EL Rotary Torso Stretch
Roll the ball to the side with control.
MS - Spinal Rotators
Upper Body Stretches
Supine/Incline Chest Stretch
Drape the head and upper torso backwards over the ball with arms extended out to the side.
MS - Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
Prone Kneeling Lat Stretch
Roll the ball forward as you bend at the hips, keeping the hips stacked over the knees. Roll the ball side to side for a variation.
MS - Lats and Deltoids
Side-lying Lateral Cervical Traction
Lower the head towards the floor as you press the upper shoulder blade down towards the hip.
MS - Cervical Lateral Flexors, Levator Scapulae, Trapezius (upper fibers)
Standing Shoulder Stretch at Wall
Roll the ball up the wall and lean towards the wall until a stretch is felt in the lats.
MS - Lats, Deltoids, Trapezius (lower fibers)
Combination: Trunk & Upper Body Stretches
Prone Kneeling “Thread the Needle” Stretch
Roll the ball forward as you bend at the hips, and slide one arm under the other arm as you rotate the spine. Keep the hips stacked over the knees.
MS - Spinal Rotators, Lats, Upper Back
Prone Rotary Torso and Chest Stretch
From a prone position, rotate the spine and hips to a side-lying position pulling the upper arm down towards the floor.
MS - Chest, Biceps, Spinal Rotators
Side-lying Lateral Trunk Traction
The body is draped laterally over the ball with the arms extended over the head.
MS - Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum, Lats, and Hip Abductors
Forward Bending Rotary Torso Stretch
Roll the ball across the body with one arm as you rotate the spine and pull the other arm behind you.
MS - Spinal Rotators, Deltoids, Chest, Biceps