Are you tired of the same old ab workout routine? Have you hit a plateau in your fitness journey? If you’re looking for a fun and effective way to enhance your Pilates practice, then you might want to consider incorporating a mini ball into your workouts.
What is a Pilates Mini Ball?
The Pilates mini ball is a small, lightweight ball that can be used to add resistance and challenge to a variety of exercises. The mini ball is a versatile piece of fitness equipment, you can use it for Pilates, Barre and rehab workouts.
The mini balls range from 8 inches to 12 inches, depending on which brand you buy. The mini ball is anti burst and made of a non toxic grippy material, you don’t have to worry about the ball slipping out while exercise.
1. Pilates Mini Balls Can Help You Achieve a Stronger Core
The Pilates mini ball will help you build core stabilization and strength very quickly! The mini ball creates an element of instability and safely increases the resistance when compressed or pushed. You can fired up your deep core muscles just by pressing your inner thighs into the ball. Challenge your balance by adding an unstable surface that will engage your deep core muscles such as your transverse abdominals, you will receive instant feedback when using the mini ball.
Engage your deep core muscles just by balancing your hips on top of the ball and don’t forget to breathe !
- For Beginners: Target your deep core muscles by placing the ball under your hips and balancing on top of the ball. Just by breathing and balancing you can activate your core stabilizing muscles.
- Intermediate: Improve core stability by placing the mini ball under your hips and balancing your hips and legs on the mini ball. Take it one step further by adding pelvic tilts or toe taps to work your lower abs.
- Advanced: Increase the intensity of oblique exercises by placing the ball on your knee then take the opposite elbow and press your elbow into the ball as you curl forward — This one is a Ab burner!
Are you curious which mini ball exercises you can do? Check out my latest mini ball workout by clicking below.
2. Strengthen your Pelvic Floor using the Pilates Mini Ball
Pilates Glute Bridge: The mini ball can be used to isolate and strengthen the adductors in the inner thighs by squeezing between the knees activating the pelvic floor and glute muscles. In this position it also helps to correct alignment
The Pilates mini ball is a powerful fitness tool that can enhance the activation of your pelvic floor muscles. By utilizing the mini ball as an unstable surface or applying pressure against it, you can effectively engage your deep inner core muscles, including the transverse abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles, while maintaining proper breathing techniques.
This engagement of essential muscles aids in stabilizing your entire body, resulting in improved posture, strength, and functionality during your daily activities.
3. Pilates Mini Ball Workouts Are Perfect for Targeting Lazy Muscles
The Pilates mini ball is an effective tool for awakening dormant muscles (sleepy muscles) and improving their functionality. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, and extended periods of inactivity can make it difficult to engage the correct muscles during workouts.
Fortunately, the Pilates mini ball can come to the rescue in such situations. This versatile fitness prop can target muscles that bodyweight exercises alone may not be able to stimulate, making it an indispensable addition to your fitness routine.
For instance, while performing donkey kicks, you may struggle to activate your glutes. Placing the mini ball behind your thigh can make it easier to target your glutes and hamstrings.
4. Pilates Mini Ball Can Help You Connect to Your Breathe
The Pilates mini ball is a useful tool for improving your breathing technique. Made of soft material, the mini ball can conform to your body. When placed under your ribcage, it can help you:
- Open the sides of your ribs and stretch your lats
- Feel your ribs expand as you engage in lateral breathing.
- Increase blood flow and circulation to this area
If you’re struggling with learning how to lateral breathe you can use the Pilates mini ball to enhance your breathing techniques and achieve optimal results in your Pilates practice.
5. Pilates Mini Ball Creates Proper Alignment
The Pilates Mini ball can help you improve your alignment throughout your workouts by positioning the mini ball between the ankles, knees, inner thighs, mid back and lower back. By holding the mini ball in place it can provide valuable feedback on form and aid in maintaining a stable position while focusing on the ball. This can enhance the effectiveness of Pilates exercises and promote better body awareness
6. Tone and Strengthen: Glutes, Hips and Thigh Muscles
I taught Barre and Pilates classes for years and this can do wonders for your lower body. The exercises are low impact and with the mini ball it adds just the right amount of resistance to your workouts.
By squeezing or placing the ball between your heels, knees, thighs or hamstrings you can engage your glutes, hips and inner thighs while performing movements:
- Donkey kicks
- Glute Clamshell
- Pilates Frog
This added resistance can help you build strength, increase muscle tone, and improve overall athletic performance. Be careful with using a small mini ball behind the thigh.. those usually slip out while exercising. My Pilates mini ball wont slip and is 10 inches.
7. Unlock Greater Flexibility with the Pilates Mini Ball
The Pilates Mini ball is a versatile fitness tool that can be used to target specific muscles and help you achieve a deeper stretch. The ball allows you to gently lengthen your muscles while performing your stretches to increase your range of movement improving flexibility.
By placing the ball under your sacrum, ribs or upper back you can enhance your stretches and work on areas that are often overlooked such as:
- Shoulders or mid back for release work.
- Ribcage to release tight ribs and back muscles
- Sacrum to release tight hip flexor muscles and groin muscles
8. Say Goodbye to Back Pain with Pilates Mini Ball
The Pilates Mini Ball is especially beneficial for those who are experiencing back pain, as it allows you to build strength and gradually provide support when exercising. My personal favorite exercise to give clients to strengthen their back is: Bird Dog using the Pilates Mini Ball. The Mini ball gives just the right amount of support and challenge to fire up deep core and back muscles.
9. Pilates Mini Ball Offers Affordable Fitness for All
If you’re looking for an inexpensive fitness accessory, the Pilates Mini Ball is a great option to consider. The cost is equivalent to what you would typically spend on 1-2 Starbucks visits. One of the biggest advantages of this prop is its portability, as it can be effortlessly deflated and packed into your gym bag or carry-on luggage for on-the-go workouts
10. Transform Your Body In Just 10 minutes with Full Body Mini Ball Workouts
With The Pilates Mini Ball, you can perform the most efficient exercises in just 10 minutes. The mini ball is an excellent fitness tool for your At Home Pilates workouts at home as it provides feedback and activates muscles that may not typically be engaged.
My favorite Pilates Mini Ball Workout Routine:
- Pilates Hundred
- Single leg stretch
- Double leg stretch
- Hip Opener
- Glute clamshell
- Hip Internal Rotation
- Laying Inner Thigh Lifts
- Pilates Hovers
- Spinal Extension
- Bird Dog
Size Matters: How to Pick the Perfect Pilates Mini Ball for Your Needs
When it comes to purchasing a Pilates mini ball, the size of the ball is an important factor to consider. In general, a mini ball that is 8-11 inches in diameter is a good size for most people. If you are taller or have longer legs, you may want to opt for a slightly larger ball to ensure that you have enough support during exercises. On the other hand, if you have a smaller frame, a smaller ball may be more appropriate.
Ultimately, it’s important to choose a size that feels comfortable and provides the support you need to achieve your Pilates goals.
Things to consider before buying:
- Your personal needs
- Workout preferences
- What exercises you plan to do
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Pilates pro, incorporating a mini ball into your routine can help you challenge your body and achieve better results. With consistent use, the Pilates Mini ball can help you feel more limber and energized, making it a valuable addition to any workout regimen.