The ancient Greeks understood the beauty and power of a sphere, which has a better ability to withstand force than any other geometric object. Today, gym members can take advantage of this simple fact by strengthening their core with exercise ball workouts. This simple, inflated bit of rubber and plastic lets you stack body weight onto your abdominal muscles, hips, and chest, making these workouts perfect for core exercises and those ultra-sexy six pack abs.
Get Your Core Tight With These 5 Exercise Ball Workouts:
1) The Rollout
- Lay yourself all the way down with your forearms resting on the exercise ball and your feet holding you up off the ground.
- Roll forward as far as possible, feeling the transfer of your center of mass move up and down your chest.
- Brace your abs to do the work, and once they no longer have any tension, roll back to return the pressure onto your midsection.
- Try to hit at least ten reps, then rest for a minute between sets.
2) The Elbow Circle
- Go into a pushup stance with your elbows pointing into the face of the exercise ball.
- Roll yourself about using only your elbows (not your shoulders — you can fall off if you roll too much) and feel how your different muscle groups have to compensate as you move about in the workout.
- Try to complete five circles in a clockwise motion, then five circles in a counter-clockwise motion.
- Speed up when possible so that there’s little rest time between each motion.
3) Crunches (But Way Better)
Much like the floor situps that we know and love, exercise ball crunches bring all the combined weight of your upper and lower body onto your ab muscles. Unlike floor situps, however, exercise ball crunches work the opposite way.
Rather than sit on your butt and bring your chest up, sit with your lower back on the ball and bring your legs up. You may find yourself surprised at how much harder it is without the stability.
4) V-Ups (For That V-Line)
This one seems simple but is complicated enough to amuse onlookers.
- Simply sit with your back on the floor, extending your arms out past your head, and hold the exercise ball in a V between your legs.
- Bring your chest up, then bring your legs up, and pass the ball from legs to hands.
- Repeat this as much as you can — some people might only be able to do it once or twice their first time.
5) The Backwards Handstand
- Lie down with your waist on the exercise ball.
- Extend both hands out and both legs out so that you’re in a reverse crab-walk.
- Now lift one arm and the opposite leg up off the ground and hold the pose for as long as possible. You’ll find it’s your core that gets the workout, not the off-limb.