Incorporating an exercise ball into your workouts is great for working on your balance and stability. You can incorporate it into your typical exercises, or you can just play around on it for fun. Either way, it improves your mountain bike technical skills and even your tolerance for riding in a cramped peloton.

(Plus, some people thought I may have “Photoshopped” the pictures of me demonstrating how to make exercises harder by incorporating an exercise ball, so I had to prove them wrong.)

While I may not be the most fit or talented athlete out there, I was not lying about standing on the exercise ball! Here is the proof:

Here is how I do it:

Step 1: Stand up straight, with the ball directly in front of you.

Step 2: Bend over and place your hands on the ball. (You can bend your knees.)

Step 3: Place one foot onto the ball. (I do my left foot first. I also ride with my left foot forward. But do whatever is comfortable for you.)

Step 4: When you are fairly balanced, step up and place your second foot on the ball, and crouch on top for a moment.

Step 5: When you find your balance, slowly remove your hands from the ball.

Step 6: Now stand up straight! (Slowly, though.)

If you completed all those steps, great! Your balance is better than most people’s. If you got stuck in steps 4-6, just keep working at it.

Now, to get down, crouch back down to get your hands on ball, then jump both feet off at same time. I usually jump out to the sides instead of straight back.

Unless you are an expert, jumping straight off without hand support can be dangerous, as the ball will bounce around. You could end up flat on your back!

And if you try taking one foot off at a time, the ball will probably roll in the other direction and cause you to do a split… and then fall over. If you aren’t flexible enough to do a split, this could be very painful!

Eventually (with practice) you’ll be able to stand on the ball easily, maybe even stand on it with one leg, or do a handstand on it!

5 Tips to Stand Tall Without Getting Hurt

1. If you’re just starting out, be sure you can sit and kneel on the ball easily before attempting to stand on it.

2. Start out with the ball only slightly inflated, and add more air as you improve.

3. Make sure there are no sharp objects (like coffee table corners) in the area. Also, consider putting some pillows or other padding down near you.

4. Have your feet as wide as possible, about shoulder width apart. I point my toes out a little bit because that is more stable for me. (Experiment for yourself to find the right position.)

5. Last but not least, make sure there is enough room for you to stand up straight while on the ball. Low ceilings, chandeliers, and ceiling fans could pose a few problems!

Warning! Danger! Caution! Here’s the disclaimer! Do not try this at home without the proper training and safety precautions in place! It’s dangerous and you could get hurt!
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  1. I was waiting for you to go flying out the window. I hope that isn’t on the second floor or higher up…

  2. Don’t worry, that window is pretty solid!

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