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Would you like to strengthen core muscles? You can also have fun with stability balls that are perfect exercise equipment to strengthen important muscles. Take a look at 11 most effective exercises with stability ball for core training.
Before starting your exercise, make sure your stability ball is the right fit for you. Simply sit on it, if your hips and knees form a right angle, you surely found “the right one“.
1. Stability ball Plank
Place your forearms on the ball, shoulders over elbows, fingers interlaced, legs together or hip-distance apart, knees bent, hips lowered and your body in long diagonal line. Inhale and prepare to exhale when you extend knees and put up hips to a “plank” position. Hold in a position for a few breaths. Exhale as you lower your knees. If you want to make this plank more challenging, get inspired with Michelle Vodrazka from Inspired Bodies, that likes to place her feet on a bench instead of placing them on the floor. Try to complete 5 to 8 reps. This is how perfect plank on stability ball looks like:
2. Plank to Pike
This exercise is a bit challenging, but also very useful. Place your feet on a stability ball and hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Contract your entire abdominal core tightly and pick up your butt, then draw the stability ball under. Try to hold the pike position and return to plank then. You can do 3 to 5 sets with 8 to 10 reps. Take a look at right Plank to Pike exercise performance:
3. Pike it up!
Do you want to focus on and strengthen the deepest abdominal muscles? Do you try to perform handstand? If yes, there is no better method than with a stability ball. Take one and let’s have some fun with the most favourite exercise of Ally Hamilton, yoga teacher based in Santa Monica, writer and life coach. Ally streams yoga online classes all over the world and is also co-owner of YogisAnonymous.com. This exercise is a fun variation of the previous exercise above. Your feet should be extended on the stability ball, instead of flexing. Inhale, then exhale when sliding the ball towards you. Try to repeat 10 to 20 times.
4. Plank with knee stretches
Even your knees sometimes need some good stretching. Start in plank position, place your stability ball underneath the shins. Body should be in a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Exhale. Round the spine and use your abs. Roll the ball in towards the hands, shins still stay on the stability ball, knees are bending in towards the chest, eyes are gazing at the abdominals. Inhale. Roll the ball away from the hands back to plank position. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
5. High Plank Hip Extension
This intense exercise shared by Ella Magers from Sexy Fit Vegan requires core strength and a keen sense of balance. To do this exercise, start in a high plank position with your feet on the ball and hands on the floor. Make sure your hands are precisely underneath your shoulders. Try to engage your core to stabilize your body. Raise your right leg about 15 centimeters above the stability ball, using your right glute muscle. Hold this position for a few seconds, then gently get back to the starting position and repeat the same movement with your left leg. Keep your leg straight (do not bend at the knee). Repeat as many times as you can.
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6. Leg circles
Lie on your back and place the stability ball between your legs. Place your legs up, your feet should face the ceiling. Lower your legs then, in a circular motion, still holding the stability ball. Try to make the circle wider every time you rotate your legs, until your feet almost touch the ground. Perform this exercise in both directions. Beginners should repeat 10 times, advanced 15 to 20 times.
Have you ever thought that a stability ball could help you achieve solid abs muscles? This intense variation of exercise using stability ball can help you to get really sculpted six-pack in one single move. Take the stability ball and let’s do it. Start on a push-up position with hands on the floor and feet on the top of the stability ball. Rotate your body to side when lifting a leg over the other and back to the starting position – this is one rep. Try to make 10 to 20 reps per leg, switch to the other side then.
8. Leg Beats
Kathy Corey Pilates, one of the original founding companies of the Pilates Method, shared this funny and effective core exercise. Firstly, lie on the top of the ball and simply place it below your stomach. Legs should be straight and together. Place your hands on the floor and walk with them until you have the stability ball below your thighs. Fingertips should be angled inward. Lower your arms and lift your legs toward the ceiling. Separate your legs to make then slightly wider than hips. Quickly close and open your legs. Finally, bring your legs together and drop them low at the level of the ball. Straighten your arms and walk with them backwards to get the stability ball under your chest. Isn’t it funny? Repeat 10 to 20 times.
9. Single Leg Teaser with a Twist
To start this exercise, lie on you back and hold the stability ball above, legs should be straight and together. Curl the torso, reach the stability ball forward and lift one leg off the floor. Bend the knee of the lifted leg when rotating the torso to the direction of the bent knee. The other leg is firmly pressed down to the floor. Straighten the lifted leg and lower the torso a few centimeters. Try to repeat this movement three times on this side and switch legs then. Watch Pilates Anytime trainers when performing this exercise.
10. Ab Roll to Back Extension
This is a deep core exercise, very intense and useful spine stretcher. To do this exercise, sit upright on the stability ball, hold your legs straight and feet apart, wider than hips distance. Draw your navel in, extend your arms straight forward for balance. Start to round the spine and rolling backwards onto the stability ball, one vertebrae at a time. Make sure you keep your abs muscles tight. Lift your arms overhead and lie back on the stability ball as shown below. Draw your navel in again and reverse the movements to get back to sitting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
11. Boat pose
Tone your core and increase capacity of your lungs with the “boat pose” exercise featured by Amy Ippoliti. Place yourself in a seated position, hold the stability ball in your hands, lean back, extend your legs straight out and spread your toes as well. Try to keep your lower back engaged. Elongate your legs, your quadriceps should stay toned, but not stressed. Breath in three deep breaths and relax. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
What do you think about it? Will you try to perform these effective exercises for core training, having fun as well? We also attach video of Michelle Lewin performing some exercises with stability ball. Get inspired.
Have you ever tried any stability ball exercises? Did you like them? Let us know in comments below. If you find this article useful, do not hesitate to support it and to share it with your friends.