For these core exercises, a yoga ball (also called a stability, fitness, or Swiss ball) can help a lot. This tool is rarely used because many do not know how to introduce it in training. Luckily, we reveal an intense routine to tone up with ball crunches.
It is important to make sure the ball is the correct size for the height. In each exercise, we will focus on strengthening the abdomen, not just sucking in the belly. Studies show that this type of movement can activate more core muscles, which means we build strength in the pelvis, back, and abdomen, not just the rectus abdominis (also known as the abdominal muscles).
For those who do not know it, it is a large ball, filled with air and widely used in gyms in order to tone and strengthen the muscles. It is often used to work the abdominal and lower back, however, it is very useful to enhance balance. It is also known as a Swiss ball, and is used in physical therapy for rehabilitation.
- It is used to prevent and treat back pathologies, such as pain in the lumbar or cervical area
- Very useful to improve postural hygiene
- Allows to work the stabilizer muscles
- Strengthens the muscles in a very global and complete way
- Ideal for working the core and achieving a strong and resistant body core
- Very appropriate to achieve a defined abdomen
- It is suitable for everyone regardless of age and physical condition
- It allows to couple the intensity according to the level of each person
- Useful for releasing muscle tension and working on stretching
- Can be used as a pathway to a state of relaxation
- Allows you to work legs, buttocks, trunk and arms through different options
abdominal exercises with ball
Below we find an extensive routine of abdominal exercises with a ball. It is recommended to do them in a circuit to give mobility to the abdomen and avoid saturating it with the same movement.
Let’s start with the basics. This exercise of abdominals with ball is one of the simplest, since you only have to imitate the crunch on the floor.
- We will lie on our backs on the ball, with the ball under our lower back.
- We will keep our feet on the ground, hip-width apart, and our hands behind our ears.
- Squeeze your core, squeeze your glutes, and slowly curl your upper body up, lifting your shoulders off the ball and tucking your chin toward your chest.
- We will slowly lower the upper part of the body to return to the start. That’s a repeat.
- We will start in the same position as above.
- We will strengthen the abdomen by pulling the navel towards the spine.
- We will squeeze the glutes and slowly contract up and to the right.
- We will lift the shoulder blades off the ball and rotate the upper body to the right.
- We will lower the back and repeat on the left side. That’s a repeat.
knee raise with ball
- Keeping the balance on the ball with the center supported, we will lift the right foot off the ground and bring the right knee towards the chest.
- We will slowly return to the right foot, then repeat on the other side. That’s a repeat.
If we want to make it easier, we will do this exercise near a wall or column. We can touch it to have an assisted balance.
Stability Ball Shrug
This is a balancing act. To make it easier, we’ll stay in the starting position and hold a high board with our feet on the ball for 30 to 60 seconds.
- We’ll start on a high plank, with the wrists below the shoulders, the abdomen tight, and the tops of the feet resting on the ball.
- We’ll keep our hips level and use our core to pull our knees toward our chest, rolling the ball toward us.
- We will stretch our legs to return to the start.
Hip thrust with ball
This movement allows the legs to come into action; we will feel it in the hamstrings and glutes. To do an easier version: Keeping your knees bent, lift and then lower your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes and contracting your core.
- We will lie on our back on the floor with our legs almost straight, our heels resting on the ball, our hips lifted off the ground.
- We will let the arms rest at the sides.
- We will squeeze the abdomen and pull the ball towards us by bending the knees.
- We will tighten the glutes, the hamstrings and continue to keep the core tight.
- In a fluid movement, we will extend the legs to return to the start.
Pass from hands to feet with ball
Get ready to feel the burn in those lower abs.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms stretched over your head, holding the ball in your hands.
- We will do sit-ups, activating the core and lifting shoulders, arms and straight legs, all at the same time.
- With the arms and legs raised, we will pass the ball from the hands to the feet, squeezing the thighs and feet to keep the ball in place.
- We will lower the hands, feet and torso.
- We will repeat, this time passing the ball back to the hands. That’s a repeat.
Plank on Fitball
A great way to strengthen the core in a dynamic way. It deeply works the muscles, since they have to withstand the instability of the ball. That is why it is a classic to work this area of the body using this material.
- It is about performing a traditional iron, placing the elbows and forearms on the ball.
- You will notice how you have to concentrate and work hard to keep your balance on the Fitball. Simple and effective!
- You can also do the plank by resting your feet on the Fitball, instead of your arms.
It is an abdominal exercise with a ball that is somewhat more expensive than it seems at first glance. Therefore, it is suitable for people with a longer journey in core work. However, you can try it, since it is not risky. You’ll want to master the move above before attempting this variation.
- Support the palms of the hands on the ground, and the insteps on the Fitball with the knees bent.
- Next, you should raise your hips towards the ceiling, forming a pyramid.
- The head must remain between the arms, with the gaze towards the ball.
It is a simple exercise and very effective at the same time. The work is very deep thanks to the instability of the ball.
- Sit on the Fitball with the soles of your feet flat on the ground, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Extend your arms forward with your palms facing each other.
- The back must remain well elongated and the abdomen activated.
- Next, extend one leg out in front of you as you make a full circle with your arms.
- And put your foot down again. Do it again with the other leg.