Fitball Exercises for Runners Part 3

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Las Vegas Informer

Perform strength training on the fitball to become a stronger runner. The fitball is ideal for developing strength and balance. A plethora of strength building exercises can be executed on the fitball. Core, upper body and lower body strength can be improved with consistent fitball usage.

In my series of articles “Fitball Exercises for Runners” I explained why fitball training helps runners achieve their goals. I also describe how to exercise on a fitball. In part one, I discussed how the fitball’s unstable surface and spherical shape positively affects your training. In part two, I went over fitball stretching exercises. In this article, part three I wrote about fitball strength training.

Strength training is fun. When done properly it improves athletic performance and lowers injury risk. Heightened strength enhances health, fitness and functionality. Every runner needs increased strength, power and explosiveness.

Precautions: Safety is paramount during fitball training. Several basic safety guidelines exist to lower the possibility of injury. Always use a ball that is appropriate for your size. Without question use an anti-burst ball. Make sure that either your hands or feet are contacting the floor at all times. Use light weights dumbbells when performing fitball strength training.

Training: Bodyweight exercises and weight training are easily performed on the fitball. Most dumbbell exercises can be modified into fitball exercises.

Core Training: The core is targeted directly and indirectly during fitball training. Indirectly the core muscles are worked during every fitball exercise. Engagement of the core balances the body on the fitball while an exercise is performed.

A wide spectrum of direct core exercises exists. Basic core exercises like planks, crunches, leg raises and oblique crunches are intensified with the fitball. Specific fitball exercises such as the pike & roll directly target the abdominal muscles.

Bodyweight Training: The fitball adds a new dynamic to bodyweight exercises. Push-ups develop upper body strength and can be performed a variety of ways with the fitball. Each new dimension hits the muscles a slightly different way. Examples include: Hands on the ball, ankles on the ball and toes on the ball.

Hamstring Exercise: Perform a high quality hamstring strengthening exercise on the fitball. Lay supine with your hips and knees bent and your heels on the fitball. Roll the ball away from you by straightening your hips and knees. Exhale and pull the ball toward your buttocks by bending your knees and hips. Keep your feet pointing straight up and focus the movement on your hamstrings.

Weight Lifting: Use the fitball to strengthen your upper body. Execute a handful of upper body dumbbell exercises on the fitball. Well-known lifts such as the bench press, shoulder press, curls and tricep extensions can be morphed into fitball exercises.

Conclusion: Develop a fitball strengthening routine to improve your health and fitness. Increased health and fitness make you a stronger runner.

The fitball is an absolute wonder for developing strength, flexibility and balance. Each and every runner needs to utilize the fitball.

Formulate a sound fitness program that includes running and fitball training. Execute your running and fitball exercises consistently and correctly for optimum results. Set new running personal records by incorporating fitball training into your training program.

Dr_Donald_A_Ozello_thumb_medium150_Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic. 8871 W. Flamingo Rd, Suite #202, Las Vegas, NV 89147.  His web address He can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and

Dr. Donald A. Ozello’s mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the author of the book “Running: Maximize Performance & Minimize Injuries: A Chiropractor’s Guide to Minimizing the Potential for Running Injuries.” He writes a weekly health, fitness and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. He is published in OnFitness and He has educational health, fitness and nutritional videos on Informer TV, and YouTube.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC proudly handles Standard Process Supplements and Foot Levelers Orthotics.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to numerous groups on the importance of health, fitness, exercise, ergonomics, nutrition and injury prevention.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is a fitness enthusiast. Functional kettlebell training, running and bike riding are his favorite types of exercise.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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