I've just recently purchased a gym ball as I wanted to tone my body with some kind of pilates exercise and have heard that there are some great exercises to improve your riding that you can do on the gym ball. If you use a gym ball or have any (non ridden) riding exercises that will be of benefit in the saddle also please do share. My first attempt at using it will be tonight and I have to say that I think it could be a giggle trying to keep my balance on it for the first time tonight.
Not sure if this is what you are looking for...
Many years ago I was in an accident and injured my back. Part of my physical therapy included working with a large piltaes type ball and I still do these whenever I need them. Some of the exercises were to lay over the ball (face down) and balance on fingertip and toetips. It is a very usefull stretching thing to do to help with stiffness in the lower back and shoulder blades, which in turn helps my fluidity and balance.
Also I will lay on it face up and roll back-n-forth (kinda like doing squats against a wall, but the ball rolls as you squat and rise) while keeping my eyes on the ceiling. This uses some muscles you dodn't know that you have, tests your balance, and works suppleness.
It helps to start on carpeting, incase you loose your balance and crash, and the carpet helps to keep the ball more steady until you are better at keeping it where you want it on your own. I'm sure a mat would help, but it is smooth and won't help control the ball as well to start off with.
While neither is riding specific, I run my own farm and there is always too much shoveling, putting up hay, or fixing fence which is hard on a shortie like me. The ball helps me take care of my back which in turn makes my riding better.
That is lovely thank you! I will give these a try tonight and see what happens. Like you say may take me a while to get my balance but i'm sure my mum and younger brother will enjoy the laugh while i'm falling and rolling around on the floor. Hopefully I can do some toning exercises on the ball for my mummy tummy and to get my core muscles working. I'm going to check the internet for lower leg exercises aswell to help strengthen my lower leg. I'm sure there are lots of exercises that can help with riding?
Well I tried the ball last night and I don't know about doing exercises but I certainly give my stomach a good work out from laughing so much just trying to stay on it. I banned camaras and phones from the room so there was no evidence but I sure gave my mum and little brother a good giggle. May take some practice before I try get techincal with the moves.