Living with Harmony ~ A Blog for your Mind & Body

Exercises with an Exercise Ball and Exercise Bands

Posted in Core/Fitness,How-To,Pilates Bands,Stability Ball / Yoga Ball by Harmony on March 26, 2010

When purchasing a stability exercise ball, remember that they come in different sizes.  Sizing charts are on every page where we sell these exercise balls.  You’ll find several different kinds in our store:  stability balls, burst-resistant exercise balls, and balls manufactured with an eco-friendly vinyl.  To size yourself at the gym, sit on the ball – you’d like your knees to be bent at a 90-degree angle with your quads parallel to the floor.

These exercises can be performed with exercise/Pilates bands or resistance tubes.  A great way to get a core and upper body workout:

Using an Exercise Ball With an Exercise Band


An exercise ball and exercise band are two of the best tools for strength training. They work best for building lean muscle, core strength and improving balance. However, someone working out will need to sit on the ball and keep the hands free to hold the ends of the exercise band, which limits options. Although an exercise ball and band can be used independently to train all the major muscle groups, they are best used together to do upper body exercises.

Step 1

Wrap the looped end of a band around a pole or stationary object. Sit on an exercise ball facing away from the object. Raise the arms to shoulder height with the elbows bent. Hold an end of the band in each hand with the palms facing down and the arms parallel to the floor.

Step 2

Pull the shoulder blades together. Roll the ball forward or backward by walking the feet until you get to a distance where you feel a mild tension in the exercise band.

Step 3

Squeeze the abs and check that your feet are flat on the floor and pointing straight ahead. Breathe out and press the arms straight forward and together so that the hands touch. This is a chest press. You should feel the effort in the pecs and triceps.

Step 4

Inhale and bend the elbows as you bring your arms back to the starting position. Do as many reps as you can until you reach muscle fatigue. Use a lighter cable if you cannot do at least 10 reps.

Step 5

Turn around on the ball and extend the arms forward with the palms facing inwards at sternum height. Adjust the distance of the ball until you feel mild tension in the band. Check that the feet are pointing forward, the abs are squeezed, and the back is straight.

Step 6

Exhale and bend the arms as you pull your arms and shoulders back in a rowing motion. Contract the muscles of the back. This is where you should feel the effort of the row, though your bicep muscles will get some work too. Keep practicing if you do not feel it right away.

Step 7

Inhale and straighten the arms forward again. Do as many reps as you can until you become tired.

Step 8

Raise the arms to shoulder height with the palms together and facing the floor. Keep the arms straight and pull them out to the sides all the way back to the shoulders. Use a lighter weight cable if you cannot pull the cable all the way back to the sides. Exhale as you pull the arms back and the shoulder blades together. You should feel this in your rear shoulders, called your deltoids, and the upper back.

Step 9

Bring the arms forward again and inhale. Do as many reps of this rear deltoid exercise as you can before you reach fatigue. Do not bend the elbows, raise the shoulders toward the ears, or stick the head forward.

Tips and Warnings

  • The exercise band and ball are not the best for strong people hoping to build larger muscles because the smaller stabilizer and core muscles needed to use a ball and bands together cannot handle heavy weight loads. Exercise bands often come in three different “weights.” Buy a set of three and switch them out so that you can do three sets of 10 to 20 reps with good form and to reach fatigue by your last repetition on each set.
  • Balancing on the ball while pulling a band can be difficult to do if the core is not strong. Have a friend kneel behind you and hold the ball until you are confident in your ability to maintain your balance.

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