OK, so you're not actually on the gym ball for this exercise, but you still get to use one. Why use a ball to bend to the side? It helps to keep your spine long and your arms overhead. Plus, it's more challenging than when you're not holding a ball. This movement not only stretches the muscles on the sides of your body, but it also strengthens and tones them.
- Hold a gym ball firmly between your palms, right in front of your belly.
- Stand firmly, with your feet hips-width distance apart. Tuck your tailbone in and engage your abs to protect your lower back.
- Now raise the ball above your head and straighten your arms completely.
- Then slowly lean your hands over to the right side, but continue to keep both feet planted equally. Try to draw your upper ribs back so they're stacked on top of your lower ribs. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and look up towards the ceiling if you can. Bend as much as you feel comfortable and hold for five complete breaths.
- When you're ready, while keeping your lower body strong and stable, lift your torso back up. Stay in a neutral standing position for one complete breath, and then arch over and do the left side. Repeat each side five more times.