The balance ball, or stability ball, was invented back in the 1960’s. However, with all of the new fitness technology coming out nowadays, the effectiveness of this simple piece of equipment should not be overlooked!
The balance ball can be used to target several muscle groups – arms, legs, glutes – but most exercises on a balance ball target abs whether on purpose or not. The balance ball is undeniably amazing for your midsection. Check out Balance Ball: Top 5 Exercises for a Super Strong Core!
1. Plank Hold
Put your feet up on your balance ball and straighten out your body into a plank position, with your hands in front of you.
Make sure your body is flat, don’t let your butt stick up, or your belly dip, tightening your abs. The act of keeping yourself balanced and stable will work both your core and your glutes!
Try to hold this position for 30-60 seconds at a time – if this feels too hard for you, modify by rolling backwards so that your knees are on the ball instead.
Get yourself into the previous plank-hold position, and do press-ups as you usually would.
You can do wide-armed press-ups, narrow press-ups or even push yourself with diamond press-ups! Again, have your knees on the ball rather than your feet to make this easier if needed.
Even with your knees just maintaining balance on the ball makes these press-ups super hard, but super effective, for both your abs and arms. Give 3 sets of 10 reps a go!
For this exercise, put your hands on the ball, or for a challenging alternative your elbows, and straighten your body out into a slanted plank position, facing the floor/your ball.
Use your abs to keep your ball balanced while you lift one leg at a time, as slowly as you can, to about 45 degrees.
This exercise hits many of your core muscles at once, along with your glutes! Try 3 sets of 10 reps, with each leg lift counting as one rep, alternating between your legs.
4. Downward Dog to Plank
Yoga moves are here to stay! With your elbows on the ball, start this exercise in a slanted plank position again, with your back and body kept straight. Keeping your legs straight, slowly slide back slightly on the ball to reach a downward dog position on your elbows, and then return to plank. Repeat this, and try 3 sets of 10!
5. Plank Rock Backs
This exercise involves only a tiny amount of movement, but you are sure to feel it the next day!
With your feet on your ball, assume the plank position. Keeping your arms straight and without moving your hips up or down, slide the ball gently forwards and backwards.
Keep your hands still on the floor, so that you rock back and forth slightly, keeping your abs tensed. Rock 10 times for 3 sets.
Give these balance ball exercises a go and you’ll be surprised how quickly your core strength and definition can increase in combination with 30-45 minutes per day of moderate to intense-level cardio exercise! What are your fave balance ball exercises? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and KEEP Your Fit ON!