Fitness Ball Ab Exercises
Fitness balls, also known as stability balls, come in various sizes to fit your needs. These balls are great for toning your abdominals. You'll want to choose a fitness ball that will allow your knees to be at a right angle while you sit on the ball, feet flat on the floor.
Remember to breathe freely and deeply while using the fitness ball.
In a study conducted by Dr. Peter Francis for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Dr. noted that exercise or stability ball crunches are "arguably, the best of the lot" when it comes to targeting the abdominals.
Balls have been used for many years in physical therapy and for good reason. Just sitting on the ball places the spine in neutral alignment (why they're often used as desk chairs) and call into action all muscles of the core or torso.
Suggested Fitness Ball Exercises
Pushup Medicine Ball Bridge
- Get on your knees and place hands on a medicine ball.
- Start position: Align hands at nipple line, place feet hip width apart on toes, and extend the arms to raise body up. Trunk and hips should be in a straight line.
- Hold for the recommended number of seconds.
Prone Plank Rotation on the Ball
- Start by placing your shins on top of the stability ball and getting yourself into a pushup position.
- Keeping your body in a tight straight line rotate your legs so that the ball is now on the side of one of your legs. Your hips should be twisted compared to your upper torso.
- Proceed to return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
- If this is too difficult to control and balance at first then move the ball up towards your thighs and complete the movement from there. When you have more control then move the ball back down towards your shins.
Adductor Stretch with Crunch
- Start by laying on top of the ball with the small of your back being on top of the ball.
- Next place your legs on the wall and spread them apart until a slight stretch is felt in your adductors.
- Once stabilized proceed into a crunch and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement for the desired repetitions.
Ball Transfer Crunch
- Start by lying on your back with a stability ball held between your legs and your arms directly above your head.
- Simultaneously raise your legs with the ball and your shoulders up towards the ceiling.
- At the top grab the ball with your arms and return to the starting position with the ball in your hands.
- Repeat this movement and transfer the ball back to your feet.
- Repeat for the required repetitions.
Prone Knee Tuck on Ball
- Start in a push up position with your feet on top of a stability ball.
- Slowly bring your knees in towards your chest and then return to the starting position.
- When your legs are extended make sure to keep your hips parallel with your body and do not let them sag towards the ground.
See also: More Fitness Ball Exercises