I USE THIS 07: Balance Ball (good for workouts AND parenting!)

>> Monday, August 29, 2011

Yes, yes, yes... we all know there are a lot of good "balance-based" exercises you can do with a balance ball or a stability ball. Sometime, I should have Pharmie take photos of all the different moves I do with our balance ball - I can get a decent workout with just that ball in our living room. And it engages lots of good (sometimes under-trained) stability muscles.

Just 2 days ago, I did some push-ups with knee-tucks on our balance ball, which made my pecs and core GO NUTS! It's the last exercise listed in this article about "workouts for swim power."

And here's an example of a butt / hammy exercise my last PT gave me:

ONLY she had me do this with my arms across my chest (so you can't balance yourself with your arms on the floor), and I had to do it SLOWLY and IN CONTROL with my knees moving only in straight lines forward and back. Try it. It's hard. And awkward. Like a baby's erection.

Anyway, I'll take a lot of photos of the different core / pec / leg / PT exercises sometime, and I'll share them with you all. I think many of you would like some of the moves I do.


Pharmie was talking with someone as she was cheering for me and her Evotri teammates at the Life Time Fitness Triathlon. Henry was only 4 weeks old, but he was already showing plenty of signs of colic. (And since then, he's been officially labeled by his doctor as "colicky." He's often called "Cranky Hank" in our household.) Pharmie was at the race and rocking Hank back and forth in his stroller. This woman that Pharmie was talking to said "Oh, my daughter had a baby that needed to be bounced. She sat on one of those exercise balls and bounced all day long!"

Pharmie's mouth dropped and her eyes lit up. "Thats. A. Great. Idea." she thought. We started bouncing with Henry THAT NIGHT. It's SOOOO easy to bounce while sitting on a balance ball; it takes very little work from the "bouncer." And most colicky babies LOVE the motion!

Pharmie's sisters keeping Henry content on our balance ball.

My Dad bouncing Henry on our balance ball at our family vacation.

Me and Hank on our family vacation bouncing on the balance ball.
(Little-known Widely-known fact: Stenzel men hate wearing shirts!)

Bouncing with Henry a few weeks ago just after
getting home from the Waseca Triathlon.

We've also started "tummy time" on the balance ball! No, I just don't throw Henry on the ball - I put him on my chest as I "slide down" the ball:

Note that I'm wearing the old, beat-up shoes
I wrote about in the first "I USE THIS" post.

And in the last 2 weeks, I've done something where I start in the position seen in the photo above, and then I "roll down" the balance ball until I'm up on my toes and I'm sitting up at about a 45 degree angle (if that makes sense). Then I put Henry on my quads, and we flirt and bounce:

So whatever you do with your balance ball is fine with me - whether it's for exercising or for calming crabby babies. Just please, do NOT do this:

There are bad ideas, there are horrible ideas, and then there's this.

Back with more in the "I USE THIS" series shortly. And CLICK HERE to see everything in the "I USE THIS" series of mini-reviews that I started a few weeks ago.


Carolina John 7:42 AM, August 29, 2011  

Yea I totally thought at first that you were just laying the baby out on the swiss ball and bouncing him all around. The pictures make more sense.

Megan 8:10 AM, August 29, 2011  

As a Stenzel man, perhaps Henry is objecting to wearing a shirt. ;) Glad you guys found a soother that's (fairly) easy on the person doing the soothing!

TriMOEngr 8:57 AM, August 29, 2011  

Had my own "cranky Hank" in summer 2001. Thought we'd lose our minds. Dr said it should get better between 3-4 months. And he was right. He wasn't "all better", but the wailing was reduced by a solid 50%-75%. And you know that when they are crying nearly all the time, just ANY amount of relief is awesome. But I feel like I failed to enjoy his infancy because I was so miserable those first few months. You seem to be coping much better than I did back then. Now my Henry is 10! He's 5' tall and 114 lbs, but still sometimes cries when his emotions get too much for him (usually frustration). Love the balance ball idea. Our Henry liked the vacuum so we had clean carpets when he was a baby! And I had the same thought as Megan - poor baby may not like his shirt. :)

Alecia 10:06 AM, August 29, 2011  

My husband dropped my balance ball off of our 3rd floor balcony years ago when we were moving. It was awesome.

trimybest 10:09 AM, August 29, 2011  

Holy shit steve, I totally lost it at that awkward line.....by far the funniest uncomfortable thing youve ever written!

I'M Tri-ing 10:33 AM, August 29, 2011  

We used our balance ball for the same thing. It seemed the only way we could get our daughter to sleep at night. We did that for over a year. Good luck, it'll get better...eventually,

kaufen Viagra 12:51 AM, August 30, 2011  

First of all you can do exercises with the balance ball and the stability ball. It is good for doing exercises, keep your body fit and also good for doing some funny things just enjoying with your family and friends.

Old She dragon 8:33 AM, August 31, 2011  

Great idea ! They are meant to be good for sitting at a desk for long stretches of time too. I love mine.
Our daughter was also a colicky baby and she loved her door frame bouncer when she was a bit older than your Henry so there must be something to this bouncing.

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