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Total Body Ball Stretch

This Total Body Ball Stretch is perfect after a workout or anytime throughout the day to stretch chronically tight muscles such as the chest, shoulders, hips and legs. The exercises are put together in a series of three moves to target different muscle groups.  You'll flow through each series, holding each stretch briefly, and repeating for 2-3 sets. This workout can be done using the ball, as shown, or using a chair if you prefer.

Precautions

See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions and modify any exercise that causes pain or discomfort.

Equipment Needed
An exercise ball and a mat

How To

  • Warm up with light cardio or do this flexibility workout after your regular workout
  • Complete each exercise as shown, modifying when necessary
  • Do this workout as often as you like to promote flexibility and relaxation
Series One
Back stretch on the ball relaxbackball.jpg (8033 bytes) Pretzel stretch on the ball
Back Stretch
Back stretch on the ball
Sit on a ball or chair and wrap the elbows under the thighs, grabbing onto the forearms with opposite hands.  Using the thighs as an anchor, round the back as you contract the abs, pulling the back up and away from the legs as you relax your head, feeling a stretch all the way down your back.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, chest stretch.
Chest Stretch
relaxbackball.jpg (8033 bytes)
From the back stretch, walk forward, rolling back on the ball until your back is fully supported.  Relax your hips and head and let your arms fall out to the sides for a relaxing chest stretch.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, pretzel stretch.
Pretzel Stretch
Pretzel stretch on the ball
From the chest stretch, sit up so that you're at an incline, fingers on the floor for balance (or hold onto a wall).  Cross the left foot over the right knee and sink down, feeling a stretch in your left hip.  Hold for 10 seconds and switch sides. 
Repeat Series 2-3 times
Series Two
Inner thigh side stretchHamstring stretchStanding Hip Stretch
Inner Thigh Side Stretch
Inner thigh side stretch
Sit on the side of the ball and take the right leg straight out to the side and the left arm up.  Gently roll the ball towards the right to stretch the inner thigh and the left side of the torso.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, hamstring stretch and reach. 
Hamstring Stretch and Reach
Hamstring stretch
From the inner thigh stretch, turn towards the right leg and stretch the right arm forward, rolling back gently on the ball to stretch the right hamstring.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, standing hip stretch.
Standing Hip Stretch
Standing Hip Stretch

From the hamstring stretch, stand up, roll the ball to the right and rest the right hand on the ball. With feet together, bend the knees and cock your hips to the left, feeling a stretch on the left side of the glutes and hips. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat the entire series on the left side.
Repeat the Series 2-3 times
Series Three
Pyramid Stretch

Stand in a staggered stance, right leg forward and left leg back, taking the left toes out at an angle and placing the foot so that the arch is in line with the right heel.  Lean forward, placing the hands on the ball and roll it out, feeling a stretch in the hamstring.  Make sure your hips are square.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, modified triangle.
Modified Triangle

From pyramid stretch, rotate the body to the side, taking the left arm up and resting the right hand on the ball.  Feel a stretch in the inner thigh and side body.  Hold for 10 seconds before flowing into the next exercise, total body stretch.
Total Body Stretch

From modified triangle, turn the body and place both hands on the ball.  Roll the ball out, feeling a stretch in the entire back body and hamstrings.  Hold for 10 seconds and repeat the entire series on the other side.
Repeat the Series 2-3 times
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