The beauty of an exercise ball is that you can work almost any body part with it, either singly or in conjunction with others. Because using an exercise ball forces you to develop balance, you are creating a healthier, more balanced muscular structure and working your body more deeply than with traditional gym exercises.
To work out your shoulders with an exercise ball, you may want to use small hand weights. We have provided one exercise here that uses hand weights and one which doesn’t, so you have options.
Begin by balancing your body sideways, with your upper body firmly on the exercise ball and your feet on the floor. You may choose to cross your ankles if it helps you balance. Hold your body in a straight line and perform your side, front and rear shoulder raises with the dumbbell of your choice. You will likely find that you tire more easily than when doing standing shoulder raises, as you are utilizing many stabilizing muscles and tendons as well.
Alternates: Perform shoulder raises while sitting on the ball, or while lying with upper body on the ball (face to the floor) with feet on the floor.
Exercise Ball Push-ups
While push-ups are traditionally considered chest exercises, we all know they provide a great workout for your arms and shoulders as well. With an exercise ball, you are presented with several possible variations on the push-up, all offering the added bonus of strengthening your entire body and elevating your heart rate while you’re at it.
You can start with your push-ups with both hands on the exercise ball and your feet on the floor. Alternatively, try it with your feet or lower legs (just your toes for the most challenge) resting on the ball and your hands or lower arms on the floor. Continue by performing as many push-ups as you can muster while maintaining good form (abs tight, shoulders and arms and chest doing the work, head and neck in line with the rest of your body).
Just holding your body steady in these positions is a good start, and you may wish to hold yourself in plank position the first couple of sessions until you develop the balance and core strength to do full-fledged push-ups while balancing on an exercise ball.