Looking for a way to switch things up and strengthen your core? Have you thought about an abs workout using an exercise ball?
Exercise balls aren’t just fun to sit and bounce on. For all you fitness junkies, an exercise ball routine can provide a huge range of health benefits, helping you improve muscle tone, balance, core stability, spine alignment, flexibility and even cardio! It’s the perfect way to boost your workout efficiency and vary the pace.
We’ve collected four super-effective exercises to get you started. All you’ll need is an exercise ball and enthusiasm.
The Ball Crunch
- Sit on the exercise ball. Roll backward slowly until your lower back is supported by the exercise ball.
- Position your feet firmly against the floor with your knees bent.
- Cross your arms on top of your chest or place your hands behind your ears to avoid neck strain.
- On exhale, crunch forward until feel a nice contraction on your abdominal muscles. Keep your neck stationary at all times.
- After a short pause, lower yourself back down.
Try doing two sets of 15 crunches.
- Perform this exercise slowly and deliberately.
- Make sure you look straight up instead of looking at your knees.
- Do not place or clasp your hands behind your head as this might injure your neck.
The Ball Ab Roll-Out
- Kneel behind the exercise ball with your hands placed on top.
- Keeping your back straight, slowly roll the ball until your upper arms are resting on top and your legs are all the way extended with your knees on the ground.
- After a short pause, pull yourself back up.
Aim for 10 reps straight.
- Keep your arms extended and your back straight throughout.
- Place a towel or yoga mat under your knees to keep comfy.
The Ball Jacknife
- Carefully, place your ankles on top of the exercise ball and assume a push up position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Keeping your back flat and your core stable, roll the ball inward by bending your knees and hips.
- After a short pause, extend your hips and knees to roll back to the start position.
- Perform this exercise slowly and carefully, especially if you have back problems.
- Make sure your hands are firmly planted on the ground and your feet are secured on the ball.
- If you have back problems and experience discomfort in your lower back, stop immediately.
The Ball Bridge T-Fall Off
- Lie on top of the exercise ball and roll until your neck and shoulders are supported by the ball.
- Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle, keep your back straight and bring your arms out to a T to keep balance.
- Slowly roll from side to side using your legs to keep balance.
Try three sets of 6-10 reps.
- Remember to keep your back straight throughout.
- Be careful not to roll too far. Keep your shoulders, torso and hips stable on the ball at all times.