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5 Core-Strengthening Stability Ball Exercises

Exercise class with balance balls

Traditional sit-ups and crunches will only take you so far in your quest to strengthen your core. If you desire a rock-solid core that serves as your body's strength foundation, it is time to take advantage of a stability ball. The human body obtains considerable benefit from performing basic moves on an comparably unstable stability ball. This unstable surface increases muscle activity compared to the flat ground. Though there are plenty of shiny, high-tech machines in gyms, a stability ball really is one of the best ways to enhance core strength. There are all sorts of core-boosting exercises that can be done with a stability ball.



Where to Start

Begin by selecting a stability ball that is the proper size for your body. Sit on the ball to determine if it is appropriate for your build. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle while sitting on the stability ball with your feet on the floor. If your feet can't reach the floor in such a seating position, opt for a smaller ball. If your feet touch the floor and your knees are bent up high in the air, opt for a larger ball. Do not dive right into a stability ball workout. Perform some stretches and warm up your body with a few minutes of jogging in place, jumping jacks and other low-impact exercises. Let's take a look at the top stability ball core exercises.


Y-T Extensions

This stability ball exercises abs better than most. It also exercises the shoulders as well. The beauty of performing the exercise on a stability ball is that it works more of an extensive range of motion compared to performing the exercise while laying on the ground. Begin by laying face-down on the stability ball. Extend your legs behind your body. Pull your toes in beneath your feet. You should now be in the plank position. Flex your core muscles along with your back and glutes. Let your arms hang down but do not touch the floor or the stability ball. Lift your arms directly overhead to create the “Y” shape. Lower your arms to the beginning point. Lift them back up again from your sides to create the “T” shape. Create the shape of each letter 10 times.



This exercise tones the core, glutes and quads. The benefit of using the stability ball for squats is that it promotes the ideal form and also provides important support for the lower back. Begin by standing with the ball between your lower back and the wall. Face away from the wall. Stand upright and pull your shoulder blades back. Press your back against the ball while shifting your weight to your heels. Place your hands on your hips and lower to the squat position so your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees create a 90-degree angle. Flex your core, glutes, hamstrings and quads while pushing from your heels to achieve the standing position. Perform the exercise 10 times.




Perform crunches on an unstable surface like a stability ball and it will really work those ab muscles. Begin by sitting on the stability ball. Move your feet ahead, allowing your shoulders, thighs and neck to be parallel to the ground. Release the tension from your neck. Place your hands behind your head. Flex your core, lift your shoulders away from the ball, achieve a 45-degree angle and hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Lower the upper portion of your body back down as slowly as possible. Perform 10 reps.



Glute Bridges

This exercise works your core as well as your glutes. Begin by sitting on the ball with your sneakers flat on the ground. Move your feet forward. Press your the upper portion of your back along with your shoulders against the stability ball. Flex your glutes before lifting them off the floor. Your back and shoulders should remain on the stability ball while you hold this position for a couple seconds. Lower your hips to the floor. Flex and lift your glutes once again. Perform the exercise 10 times.



Roll-outs performed on a stability ball work those core muscles better than most conventional core exercises. This exercise also works the hamstrings to boot. Begin by kneeling on the floor. Tuck your toes beneath your feet. Keep the stability ball in front of you at all times. Rest your forearms on the stability ball to create a 90-degree angle. Push off from your feet to roll your body forward to form the plank position. Your body should now be in a straight line from your feet all the way to your head. Hold this position for a couple seconds. Bend at the knees, roll the ball back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.


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