Bone-Strengthening Exercises With an Exercise Ball

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle as you age. Although women are most affected by this condition, men are not exempt. As a preventive measure, you can perform resistance exercises on an exercise ball, using free weights or the weight of your body. Resistance causes your muscles and bones to become strengthened.

Push-Ups

Push-ups work your upper body muscles and bones. Place your hands on the ball shoulder-width apart and walk your feet backward to straighten your legs. Place your toes on the ground hip-width apart, and push your body in the air. Lift your hips to straighten your back and lower your body toward the ball. Stop when your lower chest lightly touches the ball, push back up and repeat.

Squats

Squats work your lower legs, and they are performed with the help of a wall and a pair of dumbbells. Pin the ball to the wall with your mid back and step your feet forward slightly. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart; hold the weights down at your sides with your palms facing in. Lower your butt toward the floor by bending your knees. Stop when your thighs parallel the floor, stand back up and repeat.

Back Extensions

Back extensions strengthen the bones and muscles in your back. Place your feet against a wall; place your hips on the ball slightly lower than the apex. Position your hands on the back of your head or across your chest and lower yourself forward over the ball. Lift back up using the muscles in your lower back. Hold for a second, lower yourself back down and repeat. Hold a weight plate on the back of your head if you want more resistance.

Hamstring Curls

Hamstring curls are performed from a face-up position on the floor. Place the backs of your lower legs on top of the ball. Press into the ball to lift your hips off the floor. Form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and roll the ball toward your body. Once your heels are close to your butt, lift your hips a little higher and contract your hamstrings forcefully. Lower your hips, roll the ball back out and repeat.

Dips

Dips are upper body exercises that focus on your arms. Place the ball against a wall and stand with your back facing it. Place your hands on the ball shoulder-width apart with your fingers pointing forward. Walk your feet forward slightly, bend your knees 90 degrees and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and core tight as you lower your butt down by bending your elbows. Stop when your upper arms are parallel the floor, push back up and repeat.

About this Author

Kevin Rail has worked in the fitness industry since 2001 and has been writing since 2004. He has professional experience as a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, motivational engineer and freelance fitness writer. He currently writes a monthly column for Ron Jones High-Performance Health. Rail has a bachelor’s degree in sports management: fitness and wellness from California University of Pennsylvania.