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Lower Ab Exercises With a Stability Ball

by
author image Kay Tang
Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.
Lower Ab Exercises With a Stability Ball
Stability balls are a great way to strengthen your lower abdominal region. Photo Credit: elementals/iStock/Getty Images

Using a stability ball takes your lower ab routine to a new level of intensity. Because the ball introduces instability, your abdominal muscles are forced to work harder to keep your body steady as you work out. Multiple hip and shoulder muscles can also be simultaneously targeted depending on the exercise.

Use this simple piece of equipment to complete a wide variety of exercises targeting the lower abs.

Read more: Moves to Shrink Your Belly, Butt and Thighs

1. Hand-Offs

By bringing the hands and feet together as you transfer the stability ball, the lower abs and the entire rectus abdominis muscle are strengthened in this exercise.

HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back while holding a stability ball over your head with your arms outstretched. Simultaneously bring your arms and legs together above your body. Keep your elbows and your knees straight as you do this.

When they meet, “hand off” the ball to your feet and then slowly lower it to the ground with your legs. Then, repeat and give the ball back to your arms.

A man performing a mini crunch on a stability ball.
A man performing a mini crunch on a stability ball. Photo Credit: muratemre/iStock/Getty Images

2. Mini Crunch

Adding the instability of a ball makes a mini crunch more challenging and intensifies the lower ab workout.

HOW TO DO IT: With your feet on the floor, lie back onto the stability ball so it is contacting your mid back. Interlace your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows pointing out.

Without shrugging your shoulders or tensing your neck muscles, draw your abdominal muscles in and slowly round your spine. Do not allow your feet or the ball to move as you perform. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

The ending position for a knee tuck using a stability ball.
The ending position for a knee tuck using a stability ball. Photo Credit: Ron Chapple Stock/Ron Chapple Studios/Getty Images

3. Knee Tucks

By flexing the legs under the body, knee tucks activate the lower abs as well as the hip flexors.

HOW TO DO IT: Get into the push-up position with your hands resting on the ground beneath your shoulders and the tops of your feet propped on a stability ball.

Draw your abdominal muscles in and slowly bend your knees towards you as you roll the ball forwards. Try to keep your spine straight and avoid tilting your hips as you perform.

When you are unable to move the ball forwards any more, hold the position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

4. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a creative variation of a plank that challenge the lower abs to maintain stability while the legs move.

HOW TO DO IT: Get into the push-up position with both arms extended on a stability ball and your body lifted onto your toes. After drawing in your stomach muscles, bend your right knee under you towards your right arm.

Keep your pelvis and hips from tilting and maintain a straight spine. When you are unable to bring your knee any further forward, hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then return the leg to the starting position. Then, repeat with the left knee.

Begin a pike by getting into a push-up position using a stability ball.
Begin a pike by getting into a push-up position using a stability ball. Photo Credit: Ron Chapple Stock/Ron Chapple Studios/Getty Images

5. Pike

A pike is a great multi-muscle exercise that not only challenges the lower abs but also strengthens the shoulders and hips.

HOW TO DO IT: Get into a push-up position with your arms outstretched and your feet propped on a stability ball. Slowly bend your hips and raise your buttocks into the air as the ball rolls closer to your hands.

When the ball is 8 to 12 inches away from your hands, hold the “inverted V” position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

Exercise Parameters

To improve lower abdominal strength, perform two to three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. This should be completed two to three times per week. The exercises provide challenge, but stop if they cause pain. Consult a doctor with any questions or concerns prior to beginning a new exercise routine.

Read more: 10 Compound Moves for Greater Pump in Less Time

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