Core-strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. You can do many core-strength exercises with a fitness ball, also called an exercise or Swiss ball.
Core workout using a fitness ball are more challenging because they not only strengthen the core, they target balance, stability and overall coordination, making this a multi-purpose workout. The moves progress in difficulty, so take your time and use a wall for balance if you feel wobbly.
There are many benefits to incorporating ball exercises into your workout. First of all, ball exercises require little and inexpensive equipment. To perform the majority of ball exercises presented on this website you’ll only need access to an exercise ball and nothing more.
The biggest benefit is that they are very effective at targeting core muscles, those muscles that are essential for stability and good posture but are often overlooked when exercising with fixed position equipment such as those found in gyms.
Lift your chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line. Make sure your body is in alignment (i.e., head, neck, shoulders and back are in a straight line), your abs are pulled in and that don’t hyperextend the back. Repeat for 12-16 reps.
Position the ball under your abs and hips, hands on the floor and legs straight and off the floor. Hold that position, keeping your body in a straight line, abs pulled in. Working to stay balanced, slowly raise your right arm out to the side, taking care not to roll or allow any part of your body to collapse. Hold briefly, lower the arm and repeat on the other side. Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating arms.
Squeeze the glutes to raise hips until body is in a straight line like a bridge. Hold weights on the hips for added intensity and make sure you press through the heels and not the toes. Repeat for 12-16 reps
Lie down with feet heels propped on ball. Keeping abs tight, lift your hips off the floor (squeezing the glutes) until body is in a straight line. Hold for a few seconds and lower. For added intensity, lift the hips and then take one leg off the ball, hold for a moment and lower. Repeat for 12-16 reps.
Place your hands on the ball in front of you, arms parallel. Pulling your belly button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward, rolling the ball out as far as you can without arching or straining the back.
Push the elbows into the ball and squeeze the abs to pull the body back to start. Avoid this move if you have back problems. Repeat for 12-16 reps.
Tightening your glutes and abs, slowly twist your body to the left, sweeping the medicine ball parallel to the floor, then back up, repeating on the other side. Watch your knees on this move and allow them to turn naturally with the body so you don’t injure them. Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating sides.
Hold body in a straight line with abs pulled in, hips straight and hands directly under shoulders. Slowly rotate the ball to the right while trying to keep your shoulders level, then to the left. Repeat for 12-16 reps, alternating sides.