Exercise ball helps as a great core workout when you use it to do crunches and other ab exercises.
Ball exercise builds the upper as well as lower abs. The concept behind it is: when you try to perform crunches and other exercises on the ball, the inertia of the ball is disrupted, and it tries to move.
By trying to stop the ball from moving, you are engaging your core and abs muscles.
Here are some variations you can try out:
Abs Exercise #1: Exercise ball crunches
- Lie flat on your back placed on the exercise ball and keep your hands behind your neck for support.
- Throughout the exercise, focus straight up the ceiling instead of looking down. Looking down would cause unnecessary strain in your neck.
- Crunch up and hold the contraction for a few songs and repeat this exercise for 12-15 repetitions.
Do 2 more sets of exercise ball crunches
Abs Exercise #2: Ball Crunch – Legs Elevated
- Lie flat on the gym mat and position your calf muscles on the top of the exercise ball. Keep your arms behind neck.
- Crunch up slowly, inhaling fully and exhaling on the way down.
- Remember to look straight up towards the ceiling. Don’t move your neck too much.
Perform 12-15 repetitions and 2-3 sets of this exercise.
Abs Exercise #3: Reverse exercise ball crunches
- In this exercise, you are going to lift the ball up with your ab muscles. Abs build under stress and intensity. This exercise will stabilize your core muscles like none other exercise variation.
- Lie on your lower back, and press your calf muscles and hamstrings against the ball. Stretch your arms out sideways fully.
- Start rolling your knees, lifting the ball slowly till the knees reach the chest height. After a small pause, return to the initial position.
Remember that you are going to lift the exercise ball by placing it on your calves and hamstrings. Make sure you don’t lose contact with the ball. It is where the core stabilizer muscles come to play.
Try and do this 4 times a week for six weeks continuously and see the results for yourself.
Also Read: Lower Abs Exercise For Lean And Strong Abs
Abs Exercise #4: Exercise Ball Jackknives
In this exercise, not only the core, the lower abs and hips are trained too.
- Start off at a push-up position, placing your shins on the exercise ball and keeping your arms entirely straight.
- Make sure a straight line is formed with your body.
- Contract your abs muscles and start rolling the ball towards your body using just your shins. You will feel a burn in the core muscles.
- Go till the point your toes touch the exercise ball. Push the ball backwards to come back to the original position. Repeat 12-15 times for 2-3 more sets.
Abs Exercise #5: Swiss ball side crunches
Here’s a challenger for you. Swiss ball side crunches improve the lateral strength and target the obliques as well as other ab muscles.
- Lie on the sides on the exercise ball, and touch your feet against a wall for balance.
- Position your waistline at an angle of 40-50 degrees to the ground. Make sure the ball touches slightly below your waistline.
- Extend both your arms parallel to the ground and start doing oblique crunches. Remember to breathe in on the way down and exhale on the crunching movement up.
Be sure to hold your upper body in a straight alignment with the lower body. Don’t move your back and neck unnecessarily. Perform 10-12 reps on each side, for two more sets. Hold a medicine ball in your hand for a more advanced variation.
Perform 10-12 reps on each side, for two more sets. Hold a medicine ball in your hand for a more advanced variation.
Abs Exercise #6: Ab roll-outs with Swiss ball
- Kneel down on the gym mat, facing the exercise ball. Position the ball within an arm’s distance away.
- Place your arms on the top of the ball, with your upper body and lower back fully extended.
- Start to pull the ball towards your body and contract your abs. Remember to inhale on this movement.
- Roll the ball to the same distance as you started initially and exhale on this part of the movement.
For people with a weak lower back, don’t overdo this exercise.
Abs Exercise #7: Planks on a stability ball
Feeling the burn in your abs? Give the best finishing touch to your exercise ball ab workout with this core-blasting plank variation.
- Assume a plank position, keeping your forearms on the stability ball and the legs stretched out with toes on the floor.
- Make sure just your forearms support the upper body weight on the ball.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and keep the back entirely straight. Look up if you want to activate the core even further.
- Hold this position for 45-60 seconds. You will start to wobble; this is when the core starts to get activated.
What’s great about this workout is you are working with minimal equipment: just an exercise ball and a yoga mat.
If you’re serious about building a great physique, you can’t miss this workout. It takes just 15-20 minutes. Pat yourself on the back for surviving this tough exercise and repeat this on a consistent basis.