In today's Workout Wednesday post, Lauren is taking over to share her stability ball routine. The post is brought to you by Clever Yoga. Please use discount code 15FORYBC for 15% off your order with Clever Yoga. While YBC was compensated for the post, we only work with brands we believe in, and whose products we love. xo Candace
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With New Years resolutions still fresh in our minds I know some of you are planning to get back on your mat or back in the gym more often this year. For me, getting to the gym isn’t about working towards the “perfect body” - spoiler alert: there is no such thing. I drag myself to the gym because I know there are a multitude of health benefits from staying active. Plus, I always feel on-top of the world when I strut myself out that gym door after a killer workout; nothing can beat that post-gym high.
I don’t know about you guys, but the hardest thing for me when it comes to planning out a good workout schedule is keeping things fresh and exciting week after week. I’m constantly changing things up to keep myself challenged and stimulated. If my routine is the same, I find that the majority of the time I’m just simply going through the motions - it’s almost as if I’m in autopilot mode - do you ever feel that way? It’s kinda like when you have to drive to/from the same place on daily basis... you remember getting in your car but once you’ve arrived to your destination there’s really no recollection of the actual drive itself. If I don’t remember the specifics of my workout then I know my head's not in the game and that workout probably wasn’t as effective as it should have been.
One way I like to change things up is through the use and incorporation of props either laying around my apartment or available in the gym. My go-to prop is probably a stability or exercise ball because you can literally use it for anything. Clever Yoga sent over this 75cm ball seen here and I’ve been dragging it with me to the gym at least once a week to help spice things up. What I love about this ball specifically is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. It’s so much easier for me to focus on my workout and not to have to worry about destroying, wearing down or damaging the ball while I’m dragging it from place to place.
I put together this little sequence with a little help from my fiance - he's a former pro athlete which can be nice during times like this because he can give me some helpful tips and suggestions on variations. My entire core was feeling this workout for 3 days after - I hope you guys feel the same burn too! I went through this sequence 4 times.
Bridge Ups, Step 1: Starting Position - Start out by laying flat on your back withyour knees bent and both feet on top of the stability ball. Place your arms out to your side with your hands spread on the floor for balance.
Bridge Ups, Step 2: Ending Position - Begin the exercise by pressing your heels into the stability ball while raising your hips towards the sky until they're fully extended. Keep your shoulders and neck firmly on the ground. Once your fully extended, squeeze your glutes for a second or two then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Repeat 12-15 times each side.
Bridge Ups, Step 3: Optional Modification - to take this exercise to the next level try this variation. From the bridge position, keep one foot flat on the stability ball while extending the other leg straight up to the ceiling, arms extended at sides, palms down. You want to press the foot down into the stability ball while lifting the torso until in line with your thigh. Hold here for 1-2 counts, then slowly lower back down to starting position.
Back Extension, Step 1: Starting Position - Start with your body extended, torso resting on the top of the stability ball. You might find it easier to restyour feet up against a wall or sturdy object. Interlace the fingers and place them behind your head/neck.
Back Extension, Step 2: Ending Position - Squeeze your glutes and slowly lift the torso up towards the sky. At the top, hold for one or two seconds, then slowly lower your torso back down to the stability ball. Repeat 12-15 times.
Single Leg Lift - Start in plank position with both hands flat on the ground, arms extended, elbows engaged. Be sure to keep your shoulders in-line with your wrists. Both toes or tops of the feet (which ever feels more comfortable for you) should be on top of the stability ball. Slowly lift one leg up towards the sky. Keep your leg lifted for a second or two at the top and then slowly come down and repeat 12-15 times for each side.
Push-Up to Plank, Step 1: Starting Position - Start in plank position with both hands flat on the ground, arms extended, elbows engaged. Be sure to keep your shoulders in-line with your wrists. Both toes or tops of the feet (which ever feels more comfortable for you) should be on top of the stability ball.
Push-Up to Plank, Step 2: End Position - Slowly bend the elbows, lowering yourself until the elbows are at 90 degrees, be sure to keep your wrists directly under your elbows. I held myself in the end position for 3 seconds but am working towards longer holds. Lift arms and come to starting plank position. Repeat 8-10 times.
I’d love to hear how you guys keep things interesting on the mat or in the gym! Do you guys use props when you work out? Do you follow the same routine or do you switch things up? Comment below or take the discussion to twitter @YBC_Lauren