Exercise balls are a fun way to tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles. The abs that you're working to create definition and tone in are comprised of the six-pack muscle, also know as the rectus abdominis; the lower belly transversus abdominis; and the side ab muscles known as the obliques. Although you may perform ab exercises to look better, strong abs also help support your spine and protect your internal organs. Use an exercise ball to make traditional abdominal exercises more challenging.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and spread them around an exercise ball. Squeeze the middle of the ball between your legs and lift it off the ground until your legs are perpendicular to the floor. Lower the ball back down slowly and repeat. Perform 10 reps.
Lie with your lower back on top of an exercise ball, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows directed forward. Contract your abs to move your shoulders forward and upward and lift your left leg at the same time. Twist your right elbow toward your left knee. Reverse back to the starting position and then repeat in the opposite direction, moving your left elbow toward your right knee. Continue alternating for 10 reps.
Lie with your back on the floor and feet elevated onto an exercise ball. Raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Hold this position and raise your left leg about 6 inches off the ball and lower it back down, followed by your right. Continue alternating legs for 10 reps each and then lower your hips back to the ground.
Lie on your back on top of an exercise ball with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your hands over your chest. Lift your shoulders forward and upward 6 to 12 inches to squeeze your abdomen. Hold for three seconds and then slowly lower your shoulders back down. Perform at least 10 reps.
Start in a push-up position with your arms extended and knees on top of an exercise ball. Contract your abs to pull your knees toward your chest. Allow the ball to roll under your legs until your feet are on top of it. Reverse back to the starting position and repeat for 6 to 12 reps.
Lie on the left side of your abdomen on top of an exercise ball and the side of your left foot on the ground. Bend your right leg in front of your left and place your foot flat on the floor for balance. Put your hands behind your head with your right elbow pointed upward. Squeeze the right side of your abdomen and lift your body until your elbow points forward. Lower back down and repeat for 6 to 12 reps. Turn around and perform the exercise from your right side.
- Basic Biomechanics (Fifth Edition); Susan J. Hall
- 101 Ways to Work Out on The Ball; Elizabeth Gillies
- American Council on Exercise: Stability Ball Shoulder Bridge
- American Council on Exercise: Stability Ball Sit-Ups/Crunches