Stability balls are one of the most common pieces of equipment at just about any gym, from large athletic clubs all the way down to tiny boutique fitness studios. And it makes sense — stability balls are inexpensive, lightweight, and don’t take up much space.
But their benefits go far beyond their convenience. Stability balls are amazing for challenging your balance and core stability.
(Related: The 10 Best Ways To Do a Push-Up)
Stability balls are also extremely versatile. I notice many gym-goers only using the stability balls for ab exercises, but the best thing about the stability ball it how it can challenge all of your exercises, including lower body and upper body exercises. Almost any traditional exercise can be made more advanced to suit the more experienced exerciser, and exercises can be modified to meet the needs of a beginner.
And the benefits don’t stop there! Anyone using a stability ball in their workouts will benefit from:
- improved muscle strength and endurance
- restored or improved flexibility
- enhanced spinal stability
- improved balance, posture, coordination and focus
- increased engagement of stabilization muscles (1)
This stability ball workout is geared for the entire body. It will challenge your balance, add difficulty to each exercise and force you to use your mind to focus and get through each exercise. Complete this workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next without rest. Repeat the circuit for 3-4 sets.
Stability Ball Split Squat
Position yourself about 2 feet away from the stability ball (it will differ based on your height), and face away from it. With all your weight in your RIGHT foot, reach your LEFT foot behind you and carefully place your foot on the ball. Keeping the weight in your front foot, lower into a lunge position. You shouldn’t have any weight in the back leg, it should just balance on the ball. Press through the front heel to straighten the leg to standing. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions without taking the back leg off the ball. Repeat on the other side.
Stability Ball Squat
Place the ball against a wall and position yourself so that the ball is in the small of your lower back. Walk your feet slightly forward and just wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips (or hold dumbbells if you’re more advanced) and lower into a squat, keeping the weight in your heels. Your thighs should be at least parallel to the floor with a 90-degree bend in your knees. Press through the heels and engage the glutes and hamstrings to come back up to standing. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Lay on your back on a mat, place the ball under your calves and keep your legs glued together. Engage your abs and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips off the ground into a plank position. Keep your hips steady and dig your heels into the ball to engage your hamstrings. Curl the ball in to your hips using your hamstrings, then extend your legs back out and repeat 15-20 repetitions without lowering your hips.
Stability Ball Push-Up
Kneel behind your stability ball and lay your stomach over the ball. Walk your hands forward until you come into a plank position with the ball under your shins and your shoulders directly over your hands. Lower down and perform a push-up. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Stability Ball Tuck
Bring yourself back into a plank position on the stability ball. Making sure to keep your shoulders steady over your hands, use your lower abs to pull your knees in towards your chest. Extend your legs back straight, making sure not to lower the hips too much, and repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Stability Ball Crunch
Have a seat on the stability ball and walk your feet forward a foot or so to roll yourself out. The ball should be in the small of your back. Bring your hands behind your head and your thighs parallel to the floor. Keeping the ball steady, lift your chest up into a crunch, engaging your entire core, and lower back down, slightly extending back over the ball to stretch out your abdominals. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Stability Ball Back Extension
Kneel behind the stability ball and lay your stomach over the ball, extending your legs straight. Dig your toes into the mat or place your feet up against a wall. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out to the side. Keeping the ball steady, engage your lower back muscles to lift your chest away from the ground and arch your back. Think about squeezing your shoulder blades together to engage your upper back muscles, as well. Lower back over the ball to relax your back slightly, and repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Adding this workout into your weekly routine will strengthen your entire body from head to toe, focusing on everything in the legs, arms, and core. Your stabilization muscles and joints will be challenged and strengthened with these moves, making you stronger in your regular exercise routine or in sports. These stability ball moves can help to increase strength, power and more!
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