Anybody ever seen someone fall off of a stability ball? I have. Not only have I seen it, I’ve experienced it.
Here’s the Story – Picture This.
It’s approximately 5:45 in the morning and I was in a hurry because I was working off of a timer on the camera. I plopped right down on the stability ball to do the alt arm/leg raises and… well, there I went.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, because, I am quite literally a trainer and coach at one of the nicest gyms in the city and I still have to pay attention during exercises that require balance.
Before we dive into the different exercises, let’s chat about stability ball safety.
Now, it’s not like you’re taking your life into your own hands or anything by doing stability ball exercises, but if you aren’t careful you could get a few bumps. So! Proceed at your own risk! 🙂
Let’s chat this through, shall we?
If you’re doing exercises on your back, reach down through your legs and hold the ball in place and while bending at the knees, sit down in the middle of the ball. Yep, it’s that simple.
Once you’re seated and as you lower yourself to a reclining position, keep your feet stable on the ground and your core nice and tight.
Your core being tight vital to keeping your balance while using a stability ball for workouts.
When I say to keep your core tight, I’m not talking about just sucking your tummy in. I mean to ‘zip up’ your ab muscles.
Here’s how– starting at your pelvic bone, pull your abdominal muscles towards the middle and go all the way up to your rib cage.
This allows you to keep your core stable and still be able to breathe.
If you’re doing exercises where you’re on your belly; to get into position, get on your knees and place the ball nice and close to your abdomen and then roll forward, once again, keeping your core nice and tight.
You’ll notice in the pictures below that in the prone position, my body is flat and you can tell that my core is tight.
This is so important to avoid any kind of back pain as well as keeping proper balance.
These exercises that we’re about to go through are great when done all together for a nice full body workout or you can pick some of them for great additions to workouts you’re already doing.
Workouts such as the ones you’re about to see are great workouts, but again, if weight loss is a goal, then time to grab a plan! Don’t just piece together free workouts you find on the internet. But that’s another post ?
Okay! Now that we have laid the ground work, let’s get into the workouts shall we?
*For reps, I would recommend 3 sets of 15.*
Stability Ball Exercises # 1 – Alt Arm/Leg Raises
Roll onto the ball on your belly and position the ball right at the curve of your hips with both feet planted on the floor and both hands planted on the floor as well. It’s basically a plank position but with the ball underneath you.
Now, keeping your core zipped up and your butt engaged, raise your left hand and your right foot off of the ground. You might feel like you’re going to roll off the ball, so make sure you have your balance and alternate sides while raising the alternate arm and leg. Example when raising the left leg, you raise the right arm.
This exercise works your core strength, balance, butt, arms, and back all at once.
Stability Ball Exercises # 2 – Bridge with Hamstring Pull
Now, flip over onto your back as pictured below and bridge your butt up off of the ground. Keep your core nice and zipped up and then start to pull your feet back towards your butt as pictured, then roll it back out and lower your butt back to the ground.
This exercise will work your butt, your balance, your hamstrings and your core!
Stability Ball Exercises # 3 – Bridge
Now, this one is much more simple than exercise two because it doesn’t have the hamstring pull but it doesn’t make it any less effective!
Lying on your back and keeping your core tight, lift your butt off of the ground by pressing down through your feet into the ball then lower back to the floor.
This exercise works your butt, balance and core!
Stability Ball Exercises # 4 – Chest Press
Grab a pair of dumbbells for this one! I recommend at least 8 pounds but more typically between 10-20 pound dumbbells, depending on your strength and balance.
Sit on the ball and roll down until the ball is positioned between your shoulder blades. Keep your butt up and your core tight. It will be very easy for your back and butt to just curve around the ball but remember to keep your butt away from the ball and up.
Put the dumbbells end to end and then lower the weights while opening up the chest to a parallel then press back up.
This works your balance, and your chest muscles!
Stability Ball Exercises # 5 – Dumbbell Pullover
Put one of your dumbbells down on the ground and then hold the one dumbbell with both of your hands.
Roll down on the ball into the same position as you were with the chest press. Holding the weight between both of your hands, start with your elbows by your side and at a 90(ish) degree angle. Keeping that position pull the weight up over your head (as pictured) then bring back to starting position.
This exercise works your triceps, rear delts, and just into some of the lat muscle.
Stability Ball Exercises # 6 – Mountain Climbers
Starting in a steady plank position (on your elbows) on the ball, you will raise one knee up toward the chest, then back, then repeat with the other leg.
Make sure that you stay up on your toes and keep your core nice and tight.
Tip for balance – press down into the ball with your elbows and forearms to keep your balance.
This exercise works your lower abs, your arms, and your leg muscles.
Stability Ball Exercises # 7 – Plank with Ball Roll
Start with the ball at your hips just like you did with the alternate arm and leg raises but this time roll all the way out until your feet are on the ball as pictured below.
Then, using your feet and your lower abdomen muscles, pull the ball towards your chest until your knees are nice and bent and most of your weight is on your arms, then roll back to starting position.
This works your entire core but targeting the lower abdomen, your arms, and your quads and hamstrings.
Stability Ball Exercises # 8 – Arm/Back Row
Grab your dumbbells again and get into the starting position for alt arm and leg raises. Spread your feet wide for good balance and pull that core nice and tight.
Engaging your trap and lat muscles, bend at the elbow and pull up into a row position then back down as pictured below.
This exercise targets the upper back area.
Stability Ball Exercises # 9 – Ab Ball Pass
This one is a toughy but oh so good. Your abs will be sore!
Start by laying on your back with the ball in between your ankles and your arms and feet overhead.
Engaging your core muscles, pull the ball back to meet your hands then pull the ball overhead while simultaneously lowering your legs together. Then pull the ball back up to meet your ankles and lower your legs with the ball in between your ankles.
Keep passing the ball back and forth for a great ab workout.
This one is really tough and you might not be able to do the 3 sets of 15 which is totally okay! If you can’t do the 3×15, do a four rounds of 6 reps (4×6).
Stability Ball Exercises # 10 – Skull Crushers
Grab one dumbbell this time and position yourself like a chest press but only holding one dumbbell straight overhead.
Bending at the elbows, lower the weight carefully to your head then back up. Be sure to hold onto the weight so you don’t drop it on your head! Remember, safety first.
This exercise targets the triceps! Can you say, hello tank top arms? 🙂
Stability Ball Exercises # 11- Side-Lying V-Up
Here’s another ab killer, you ready?
Lying on your side, place the ball between your ankles. You will feel like a dork, but hey, who cares, right?
While lying on your side, raise your legs and use your hand to reach up for your feet.
You will see that I’m not lying directly on my hip bone; I am curved a little bit to make sure that I am targeting that abdomen area without killing that hip bone!
Tip- For balance, lay your opposite arm out flat on the ground beside you (as pictured).
Stability Ball Exercises # 12 – Russian Twist Variation
Sit on the ball and roll down to where it is below your shoulder blades and in the natural curve of your back.
Arms over head and press together and twist your abdomen back and forth to target those obliques.
Looks easy enough but when done right, it’s a real burner!
Stability Ball Exercises # 13 – Push Up
This one is hard, so if you can’t do it right away, don’t stress!
Roll into a full plank position where the ball is underneath your feet and your body is flat.
Bending at the elbows, lower your body to the ground then back up.
It will be very easy to ‘reach’ for the floor with your neck, but make sure that your head stays in line with your body!
Tip- move the ball up under your knees/quad area if you’d like a less intense option
Stability Ball Exercises # 14 – Prone Back Extension
Last, but certainly not least, the prone back extension.
Position the ball at your hips, right in the curve and spread your feet nice and wide for balance. Crossing your arms in front of your body, raise your body up to parallel then back down.
This targets the back and make sure to keep your core zipped up nice and tight to protect that awesome back of yours!
Let me just say this. If you’re not sweating after that workout, you didn’t’ do it right!
Those exercises are fantastic for targeting certain areas of the body, while incorporating the difficulty of maintaining your balance.
The exercises may seem simple enough but adding in the complexity of the ball will really take it to the next level.
I really like incorporating the ball with my clients as it helps them see where they need to work on their balance and where they are strong in their balance.
As you’re going through these, don’t stress if you don’t ‘get it’ the first time. That’s totally okay.
Nobody gets everything 100% perfect the very first time.
They just don’t! And that’s okay. It’s part of learning and growing.
Remember, if weight loss is your goal, these are great exercises that you can incorporate into your plan, should you choose to do so. But, if you don’t have a plan for your weight loss, it’s important to grab a workout plan made by a professional that can help you reach your goals.
Piecing together freebie workouts found on the internet will not get you to your goals efficiently and dare I say, safely?
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