Total-Body Blast Stability Ball Workout
Last Updated: Jun 01, 2016
1 of 16
If you're only using a stability ball for crunches or as a chair to sit on at your desk, you're missing out. You can transform traditional exercises into multi-tasking, multi-muscle movers that will help you get more done in less time by just adding a stability ball. After completing the warm-up, do each exercise for the recommended number of reps, back-to-back with little or no rest in between. Perform the full circuit 1-3 times in total, up to 4 non-consecutive days per week, for best results. You’ll need a set of dumbbells (5-to-25 pounds, depending on your level) and a stability ball for this workout. Leave a comment below to let us know what you think of these moves!
Get your body ready for movement and used to working with the ball with this total body move. Begin by holding the ball, standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Then, lower into a small squat, tapping ball lightly to the floor. Stand up out of squat position, draw your abs in tight and, keeping arms extended, raise ball overhead. Do 20 reps.
Add more of a core challenge to a traditional squat by holding the stability ball overhead. Start by standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding ball overhead. Then, lower into a deep squat, sitting back into your hips and keeping your knees behind your toes while keeping ball overhead. You can avoid straining your neck by keeping your chin pointing toward your chest. Return to starting position. Do 20 reps.
Fire up your core with this signature move. Begin in an elbow plank on the ball, with elbows on top of the ball lined up under your shoulders, hands clasped together, feet hip-width apart. Brace your abs in tight (chest and body should be off the ball completely) and write your full name – first, middle and last – with your elbows on top of the ball. Make this harder by bringing feet together, easier by widening your stance. For even more fun, try signing your name backward (begin with the last letter of your last name) for a real mental and physical challenge!
Use the ball to increase your range of motion and challenge your balance to get more out of this great back-strengthening exercise. Begin balancing with the front side of your body on top of ball, with the ball positioned between your belly button and pelvis, and legs extended straight, hip-width apart, toes tucked under and your hands towards your back in a “thumbs up” position – as seen in the image. Extend your spine and lift your chest off the ball, reaching arms into a “Y” position, with thumbs pointed up. Lift your ribcage off the ball, further extending your spine, as arms reach down by your sides into “I” position, squeezing shoulder blades back and together with your thumbs still facing up. Return to starting position. Do 20 reps.
REACHING REAR LUNGE
Challenge the muscles from your ankles all the way up to your hips with this stability ball twist on a traditional rear lunge. Stand about one foot in front of the ball with your right knee bent, the top of your foot pressed into ball, holding dumbbells by your sides. Brace your abs in tight. Keeping spine naturally straight, hinge forward from your hips, bending your left leg as your right leg extends back, moving the ball away from your body and reach with the dumbbells, on either side of your left leg, toward the floor. (Go as low as possible without rounding your back.) Be sure to keep your left knee behind your toes and pointing straight forward as it bends. Return to starting position. Do 15 reps. Repeat on opposite side.
Engage your shoulders, abs and thighs by balancing on the ball during your overhead press. To start, sit tall on ball with feet hip-width apart, arms bent by your sides, holding dumbbells in front of your shoulders, palms facing front. Press weights overhead. Arms should be slightly in front of your body at the top of extension, never behind your head, as one foot lifts off the floor. Make sure to keep your shoulders stacked over your hips. Return to start position. Do 20 reps, alternating legs each time.
TOTAL BODY BALL PIKE
Work your entire body (with a major emphasis on the abs!) with this jacked up plank variation. Begin in a full plank position with the ball positioned under feet, with your toes pointed, abs tight and shoulders lined up over your hands. Draw your abs in deeper and lift hips up as high as possible, pulling the ball in closer to chest as hips lift. Try to raise your hips over your shoulders, if possible, and press your feet down into the ball to make it easier to slide your legs in during the pike. Return to start. Too tough? Start with a small range of motion, lifting your hips only slightly until you feel ready for more. Try up to 10 reps.
Turn up your triceps work with this multi-tasking move that works not only the backs of your arms, but also your legs and core too. To do it, stand about one foot in front of the ball with your right knee bent, the top of your foot pressed into ball with your elbows bent behind your body, holding the dumbbells by your sides. Engage your abs and hinge your torso forward from hips, bending your left knee about 45-degrees as your right leg extends straight back behind your hip (body should make a line from right foot through top of head). Extend arms straight behind your body. Bend elbows back in. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps. Repeat on opposite side.
Take your push-ups off solid ground for an extra core challenge! Begin in a full plank position with hands pressed into the ball (think of slightly hugging the ball with hands), legs extended, feet hip-width and abs drawn in tight. Make it easier with your feet positioned wider apart, or harder by bringing your feet closer together. Do a push-up by lowering your body to the ball bending elbows out to the side and avoid letting your hips sag. Try to tap your chest on the ball if possible but don’t rest your body on the ball. Return to starting position. Try up to 15 reps.
SIDE LUNGE ROW
Work your inner thighs, glutes and back with this balancing combo exercise. To do it, stand with your left leg extended straight to the side and your left foot pressed on top of the ball, holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Lower into a single-leg squat by bending your right knee, pushing your hips back, and hinging slightly forward from your hips, reaching your right arm toward the floor. Rotate your left leg in slightly so that the inside edge of your left foot presses into the ball. Row your weight back by bending your right elbow in by your side, pulling the dumbbell to the side of your torso as your left knee bends, curling the ball toward your body. (Keep your left toes pressing down into the ball to control it.) Extend your leg and arm back out. Do 15 reps. Repeat on opposite side.
The backs of the legs can be tough to target, but this ball-curl exercise is guaranteed to make your hamstrings work! Begin in a ball bridge: Lie face up with your knees bent and hip-width apart, feet flexed, heels pressed into top of the ball with your arms extended by your sides pressed into the floor and hips lifted -- line up knees over hips to start. Engage your abs and extend your legs out straight, keeping your hips off the floor. (Use your abs and arms to help stabilize your torso.) Return to start. Do 20 reps.
Skip the sit-ups! You won’t need them with this workout since your abs have been working with almost every rep already. Try this multi-muscle ab-strengthening move instead. Begin in a full plank position with the ball positioned under your feet, with toes pointed, abs tight and shoulders lined up over hands. Draw your abs in deeper and bend your knees into your chest, pulling the ball in and keeping your shoulders lined up over your hands. Press your feet down into the ball to make it easier to slide your legs in. Return to starting position. Do 20 reps.
TRIANGLE CHEST STRETCH
After you’ve finished the final round of the circuit, wrap up your workout with this feel-good chest stretch, followed by a similar-looking back stretch. Stand with your feet wide and your arms extended out straight to the sides of your shoulders with the ball in front of you on the floor. Bend your knees and hinge forward from your hips, placing your left forearm on the side of the ball. Keeping your arms extended, open your chest toward the ceiling, turning toward the right, looking up to your right hand. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
TRIANGLE BACK STRETCH
End your workout with this back stretch. Stand with your feet wide with your arms extended out straight to the sides of your shoulders with the ball on the floor slightly in front of your body. Bend your knees and hinge forward from your hips, placing the back of your right hand on top of ball, and keeping arms extended, turn your chest towards ceiling, rolling onto your right shoulder, looking up to your left hand. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you have a stability ball at home? Are you more likely to try these moves at home or at the gym? Have you ever done any of these moves before? What do you think of them? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Lose Weight. Feel Great!
Change your life with MyPlate by LIVE