An exercise ball ab workout is a fun alternative to the regular abdominal workouts. It strengthens all the muscles in the abdomen and at the same time it challenges your balance, stability and coordination.
The exercise ball ab workout we recommend can be performed in:
- Straight sets – you start with the first ab exercise and perform two or three sets, then move to the next one
- Super sets: You can pair two exercises together without rest between the two exercise types. You can do two or three sets and then move on to the next pair of ab exercises
- Circuit – you do four or more exercises in a row without rest between the exercises. Between rows you can rest for 60 – 90 seconds and then repeat the circuit two or three more times. This is the hardest and most efficient workout.
Before starting your workout, you should warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio.
1. Exercise Ball Traditional Abs Crunch
Sit straight on the ball with both feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward and let the ball roll under your body until it is on your lower to mid-back region. Raise your hips a bit so that your body is parallel to the floor, and then place the hands across your chest. Contract your abdominal muscles to raise your body to a 45 degree angle, and then slowly return to the start position. Perform 8 to 15 repetitions.
2. Exercise Ball Oblique Crunches
The starting position is same as before. Exhale and crunch up towards the ceiling and as you get to the top of the motion curl your upper body diagonally across your body. Perform 8 to 15 repetitions on the right side, then 8 to 15 on the left.
3. Exercise Ball Reverse Crunches.
Lie on the floor and place your feet on top of the ball. Using the heels squeeze the ball against your thighs, exhale and then curl your pelvis towards the chest lifting the ball off the floor. Return slowly to the starting position. Perform 8 to 15 repetitions.
4. Exercise Ball Side Rolls
This exercise is for the Oblique muscles. Lie on your back with your feet on the ball. Use your heels to brace the ball against your thighs, then lift the ball off the floor and keeping it lifted, slowly lower your knees to the side. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions for each side, rest 60 to 90 seconds and then repeat the sequence two or three times.
5. Exercise Ball Ab Roll
On your knees, place your hands on the ball in front of you with your arms parallel. Pulling your belly button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward, rolling the ball as far as you can without straining or arching your back. Push your elbows into the ball and squeeze your abs to pull your body back to the starting position. Perform 8 to 10 reps.
6. Exercise Ball Push Ups
Lie with your stomach on the ball and walk your hands on the floor until the ball is under your thighs, then pull your bellybutton towards your spine, bending the elbows at the same time. Lower the upper part of your body to the floor and hold this position for a couple of seconds. Then push back up. Keep your head in line with your spine at all times and your abdominal muscles engaged. Start with 5 reps if you’re a beginner and go up to 15 for a set. Do 3 to 5 sets.
7. Ball Pass
Lie on your back and lift your feet so that your shins are parallel to the floor, then lift your shoulders and place the exercise ball between your legs. Lower your legs with the ball between them and reach your arms back. Come back up and grab the ball, reaching back with the ball between them and stretching your legs while you lower them. Continue to pass the ball from your hands to your legs 10 to 15 times.
8. The Bridge
Lie on your back with your legs on top of the ball and tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your hips and butt off the floor as a bridge. Hold this position as you take three deep breaths, then return to the start position and repeat. For an added challenge you can raise one of your legs off the ball, then repeat with the other leg raised. Do this movement 10 to 15 times.
Working your abs along with other core muscles using the exercise ball is a very effective and fun workout. Include these 8 exercises in your training routine and enjoy a dynamic, efficient workout!