I give you…the stability ball! Stability ball exercises are a great way to challenge yourself and switch up your standard floor workout regime. Incorporating the stability ball into your workout also increases your core balance, coordination, flexibility, balance, posture, and strength. Don't let its playful exterior fool you, this ball means business.
Set Up: Lie on your back, knees bent with your heels on the stability ball. Lay your arms flat alongside your body.
The Burn: Drive your heels into the ball and push your hips straight up. Slowly Lower your hips back down to the mat. That is 1 repetition. move through 10-12 repetitions.
Set Up: Place your shins across the top of the stability ball. Support your body with your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, placed directly under your shoulders. Make sure your back is flat and head is in-line with the rest of your spine.
The Burn: Draw your knees toward your chest, allowing the ball will roll with the movement, until your knees are pointing straight toward the ground. Your arms should remain on the floor and your core should remain engaged. Slowly roll back out to your starting position. This is 1 repetition. Challenge yourself to complete 10-12 repetitions.
Set Up: Lie on your back, bend your knees in the air at 90 degrees. Keep your arms straight up in the air, holding the stability ball between your knees and arms. Keep constant pressure on the ball between your knees and arms. Make sure you are pressing your back into the floor so it is flat.
The Burn: Alternate lowering your opposite arm and opposite leg, while always keeping the stability ball between your raised arm and leg; be sure to pull your belly-button into your spine to activate your core. Try completing 20-30 repetitions and add as you get stronger.
Set Up: Place your knees on the ball. Support your body with your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, placed directly under your shoulders. Make sure your back is flat and head is in-line with the rest of your spine. You can increase difficulty by moving the ball farther down your legs towards your toes.
The Burn: Slowly lower your body, leading with your chest and keeping your elbows tucked in. Try to lower your body so your nose is an inch from the ground and push back up. Remember to keep your back straight and neck in-line. This is 1 repetition. Try completing 10-12 repetitions and add as you get stronger.
You might find that it takes a repetition or two to get comfortable with using the stability ball for balance. But if you persevere you will have gained a workout companion that will both challenge you and spice up your regular routine. Go ahead, have a ball!
(photography by Anne-Marie Cheely)
Molly is a certified Personal Trainer with a BA in Kinesiology and an athlete for life. For Molly, exercise is about having fun and staying healthy. Swimming was her first love, but marathons are Molly's new passion.