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Kick Off Your Pilates Routine with Deflated Balls

By HERWriter
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Kick Off Your Pilates Exercises with Deflated Balls PhotoSpin/PhotoSpin

In the wake of the Super Bowl, there's still some controversy in the air — or more precisely, about the lack thereof — concerning Deflate Gate. With an ongoing investigation football will continue to make the news, and not just in the sports block.

The core issue here is deflated balls. But, what if I told you those deflated balls could potentially help you get deflated abs?

Yes, to be a good football player you have to, according to FitDay.com, "possess the qualities of strength, speed, agility and stamina.” But you also need balls, and using a slightly deflated one as a Pilates workout prop could help you up your game.

In fact, according to Ideafit.com, some NFL teams have a Pilates Playbook. “Many professional football players use Pilates exercise to improve core strength and stamina, increase flexibility and enhance mental focus.”

Below are some Pilates exercises using a slightly deflated football as a prop.

Deflated Hundreds

Lie on your back and bring your knees into a tabletop position above your hips. . Place the football widthwise between your knees.

Lengthen your spine as you curl your head forward, again creating the letter “C” with your gaze at your navel.

Extend your arms straight out a few inches off the floor and shoulders away from the ears. Hold this position and slightly pump your arms up and down in a repetitive movement.

Inhale for five counts then exhale for 5 breaths. Repeat this exercise 10 times for a total of 100 breaths. When finished, slowly pull your knees into your chest.

Football Bridges with Feet on Football

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place the football widthwise between your knees.
While maintaining neutral spine, inhale and engage your glutes as you lift up through the heels, squeezing the ball. Use your glutes and abs together, as you lengthen your tailbone toward the back of your knees.

Exhale as you roll back down to the ground, articulating the spine to the mat as your upper back, mid back, low back, and finally tailbone, come down to the mat. Repeat 6-10 times.

Roll Downs with Football

Sit on the floor in an upright position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms out in front of you holding the football widthwise, putting pressure on each side.

Inhale to prepare, then exhale and pull your navel in toward your spine. Work to round your spine into the letter “C” again keeping your gaze towards your navel.

Inhale to prepare, then exhale, engaging your abdominals and bringing yourself back up to your starting position. Repeat 6-10 times.

Roll-Ups with Football

Lie on your back with your legs straight and stretch your arms overhead, holding the football widthwise. Squeeze your adductors (inner thighs) in tightly and flex your feet.

Bring your arms overhead with the ball just over your shoulders and then down towards your chest. When the ball gets to chest level, begin to inhale as lift your head up and forward.

The roll-up happens in this particular cadence: lift your chin to chest, lift your chest to ribs, curve as you lift your ribs over your stomach, than reach your stomach over your hips and over your thighs.

Exhale as you stretch forward from your hips, while pulling your navel toward your spine. Inhale, pull the navel in even further and reverse the movement as you articulate that spine back down, one vertebra at a time.


“5 Effective Football Fitness Training Drills – Fitday.com” Fit Day. Web 4 Feb. 2015.

“Case Study: An inventive instructor adapts Pilates for a high-school football team – IdeaFit.com.” Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and two children, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/

Reviewed February 5, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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