Stability balls also known as exercise balls, Swiss balls or yoga balls are one of the best fitness tools you can own.
They are a great way to improve your fitness, balance, flexibility, and strength in the core.
In fact research shows abs and core exercises done on a ball activates the core muscles 38% more than floor crunch, sit-ups, planks and push-ups.
Needless to say, it's a great way to supplement your bodyweight training and add challenges.
Especially with a crunch, the ball can extend the range of motion using the curved surface.
Swiss balls also creates instability, which forces core to work harder to brace your body and keep you from losing your balance on the ball, says Michael Schletter, certified personal trainer.
In other words, your muscles get more bang for their buck.
How It Works
The ball acts as a unstable surface—much like a surfboard that moves right below you.
This forces the body to stay alert, recruiting the abs and deep core muscles TVA.
Which most conventional ab workouts leave untouched.
Add these 5 ball exercises to routine to hit your abs from all angles.
- Russian Twist
- Swiss ball plank
- Hip raise
- Swiss ball crunch
Try the 20-minute stability ball workout (at the bottom of this page) to train your abs, obliques, lower back, and work on deep core strength. You can also mix match any of the ball exercises in your workout at the gym or at home.
If you’re ready to build hard rock-solid abs and core muscles, grab your stability ball and let’s get rolling!
Step 1. Lie face down on the ball with your back flat and your chest and upper-body lifted off the ball. Allow your arms to hang straight down on either side of the ball with your palms facing forward.
Step 2. With your glutes engaged, tighten your abs and core and slowly raise arms laterally until they are parallel to the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades back together. Pause 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower arms back to the starting position.
2. Russian Twist
Step 1. Lie with your upper-back and shoulders on the ball. Extend your arms in front of you with hands clasped together. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth to stabilize your neck. Form a straight line from shoulders to your knees.
Step 2. Tighten your abs and core, and in one motion, rotate your torso from side to side, keeping feet on the floor and hips up align with the rest of your body.
3. Swiss Ball Plank
Step 1. Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, knees on the ground, and your shins on the ball.
Step 2. On an exhale, pull your abs deeply to your spine and straighten your legs by lifting your knees off the ground until your body forms a straight line. Keep your abs and glutes engaged. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
4. Hip Raise
Step 1. Start by sitting on a stability ball and roll your body down by walking your feet forward until the ball meets your shoulder blades and your head is resting on the ball.
Step 2. Place your hands on your hips, and keep your feet and knees hip-width apart and heels grounded. Squeeze your glutes and push your hips up to the ceiling creating a straight line from shoulders to your knees. Drop your butt back down and repeat.
5. Swiss Ball Crunch
Step 1. Lie back on the ball with feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Your lower back should be supported by the ball. Place your hands behind your ears and tuck your chin.
Step 2. Contract your abs and core. Exhale as you curl your body up off the ball to about 45 degrees. Pause, then lower, inhaling as you go through the motion. Do 3 sets, 12-15 reps.
Tips: If you are unstable, move your feet further apart.
Stability Ball Workout
There you have it!
5 best stability ball exercises to improve your core strength, balance, and flexibility.
I hope you give the workout above a try and add some of the ball exercises into your routine.
For more abs and core exercises like the ones in this workout, check out our Exercise Ball Workout Posters for men and women.
Leave me a comment below to let me know which stability ball exercises you like best.