Anyone who spends time at the gym knows that working out with a stability ball is great core work. What may surprise you is the range of various exercises with a stability ball that work a lot more than just your core. If you’re up for a challenge, check out these 10 body toning stability ball workouts!
1. Overhead Stability Squat
- This move works your torso, deltoid muscles, shoulders and legs for one heck of a body-toning workout!
- Hold the stability ball overhead. Inhale, and when you exhale do a full squat.
- When squatting, “sit” back as if sitting in a chair behind you.
- Keep the ball steady while doing squats is harder than you might think, which is great! Do 10 to 15 reps.
2. Off the Wall Squat
- Prepare yourself – this is one killer move that will have your quads screaming (and thanking you later)!
- Position the stability ball between your back and the wall.
- As you bend your knees to lower your body, let the ball support you.
- The ball should roll from your shoulder blades down to your lower back as you lift and lower your body.
- Lower yourself until your legs form a 90-degree angle and back up again. Do 10 to 15 reps, if you dare!
3. Hamstring Curls
- Begin this total body move lying on your back with your heels resting on the stability ball.
- Your hips and butt should be off the ground (yes, the whole time!).
- With your abs and glutes engaged, bring your feet in, rolling the ball toward you, until your feet are flat on the ball.
- Keep your arms out for balance and your shoulders on the ground.
- Now roll the ball slowly back to starting position, heels on the ball again. Do 10 to 12 reps.
4. Squats with a Twist
- This move is great for your abs, arms and legs.
- Holding the ball in front of you with straight arms, do a squat.
- As you squat, twist your torso and the ball over to your left knee.
- Hold this for 3 breaths then go back to center. Repeat on your right side.
- Movements should be slow and controlled. Do 10 to 15 reps.
5. Stability Lunges
- In a typical lunge, one knee goes forward and your body lowers into the lunge.
- For an extra challenge, place one foot, laces down, on the ball.
- The other leg does the lunging. Beginners will be wobbly – staying stable is the whole point and is what makes your muscles work harder.
- Do 8-10 reps and switch legs. Form is important, so only do as many of these as you can while keeping the proper form.
6. Reverse Extension
- This move really works your glutes and core.
- Start with your chest resting on the ball while your toes and fingertips are touching the floor.
- Roll yourself forward until the ball is supporting your hips.
- Lift your legs to make a straight line with your body.
- Hold for a breath and roll back to the starting position.That is one rep. Do 12 to 15 of these.
7. Balancing Push-Ups
- This move works your back, arms and shoulders but oh-so-much more than a regular push up!
- In the push up position, place your feet up on top of the stability ball.
- The best way to get into position is to lay on the ball and walk your hands out until just your feet are on the ball.
- Aim for 8 to 10 push-ups while keeping the ball steady.
8. Back Extension
- This is a great exercise for strengthening the lower back muscles, which is especially important with intensive core work.
- Lay on the ball so that your hips are resting on it, your legs straight behind you.
- Steady yourself, then with your hands behind your head lift your chest up high, similar to “cobra pose” in yoga.
- Return to the start position and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.
9. The V-Sit
- Now this is some ab work! Lay on your back with your calves on the ball.
- Point your arms at your feet and roll up to a “V.” Hold to a count of 5 and roll back down.
- If your abs shake, you’re doing it right. Repeat 6 to 10 times.
10. Bouncy Ball Cardio
- Sit on the ball with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
- With your feet planted flat on the ground, bounce as high as you can.
- This move is great as a warm up move.
- Bounce your heart out for 2 to 5 minutes.
As you can see, it is quite possible (and fun!) to get a full body workout with a stability ball. The key is to take a traditional body weight exercise and add the stability ball to make it more challenging. Pushing ourselves is the name of the game, right? Up your game with these 10 killer stability ball exercises!