8 Ball Exercises for Strength and Stability

65

When you think of strength training equipment, you probably think of barbells, dumbbells, and kettle bells. But you can also develop serious strength with the help of some friendly medicine balls and Swiss balls. Using these workout tools during your sweat session can tone all the areas of your body in a new and fun way.

For this exercise ball workout, you’ll be carving your core from every angle and achieving the defined muscles that come from the more intense squats and lunges required when working out on a stability ball. “Most of these moves provide a ton of glute activation and a focus on hamstrings—the combo you need for a firm butt,” and of course strength.

1. Strength and Stability Ball Crunches:

stability-ball-crunches1

Doing a controlled crunch on this unstable surface boosts activation of the abdominals and Strength more than regular crunches, says Rubin.

How to Do:

  • Sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward so your shoulders, neck and thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • With your neck relaxed, place your hands behind your head.
  • Engage your core and lift your shoulder blades off the ball, pausing once your body reaches a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your gaze towards the sky or ceiling so you don’t put too much pressure on your neck.
  • Pause, then gently lower your upper body back down.
  • This movement isn’t about speed so the slower, the better. Repeat 10 times.

2. Ball Leg Curl:

ball-leg-curl-2

How to Do:

  • Begin on the floor laying on your back with your feet on top of the ball.
  • Position the ball so that when your legs are extended your ankles are on top of the ball. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground, keeping your weight on the shoulder blades and your feet.
  • Flex the knees, pulling the ball as close to you as you can, contracting the hamstrings.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

3. Stability Ball V-Pass:

stability-ball-v-pass3

How to Do:

  • Lie face up on the floor, holding a stability ball overhead with both hands, your legs together and extended straight on the floor.
  • In one motion, brace your core and lift your arms and legs off the ground, placing the ball between your feet.
  • Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower your arms and legs back to the floor.
  • Repeat, passing the ball back to your hands. That’s one rep. Do eight to 10.

4. Single-Leg Bridge:

single-leg-bridge4

How to Do:

  • Lie face up on floor behind ball with knees bent and feet on ball and arms on floor by sides.
  • Lift hips so body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  • Pause, then slowly lift and extend left leg straight up.
  • Lower leg, then return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

5. Push-Ups With Feet On An Exercise Ball:

push-ups-with-feet-on-an-exercise-ball5

How to Do:

  • Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 36 inches apart from each other holding your torso up at arms length.
  • Place your toes on top of an exercise ball. This will allow your body to be elevated.
  • Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
  • Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest.
  • Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • After a second pause at the contracted position, repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

6. Stability Ball Roll-Outs:

stability-ball-roll-outs6

Using an exercise ball for roll-outs can help engage smaller core muscles than traditional forms of exercise, says Rubin. Plus, we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t super challenging for those hamstrings too , and of course it gives strength

How to Do:

  • Start by kneeling on the ground with your toes tucked underneath your feet.
  • The stability ball should be in front of you. Place your forearms on the ball so your arm makes a 90-degree angle.
  • Push off from your toes and roll yourself forward, so you balanced on the ball in a plank position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Hold for one second, then bend your knees and slowly roll back to the original position. Repeat 10 times.

7. Swiss Ball Jackknife:

swiss-ball-jackknife7

 

How to Do:

  • Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight. Rest your shins on a Swiss ball.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
  • Without changing your lower back posture, roll the Swiss ball toward your chest by pulling it forward with your feet.
  • Pause, then return the ball to the starting position by rolling it backward.

8. Stability Ball Back Extension:

stability-ball-back-extension8

How to Do:

  • 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.