Originally developed for physical therapy, stability balls
are now being used by everyone for home workouts– and for good reason! Besides being an effective tool for core and abdominal exercise, stability balls are ideal for many major muscle groups. They help create more challenging functional workouts that require greater energy and make your muscles work harder and more efficiently, while also improving coordination and balance. Plus, they’re fun to use!
Stability ball benefits
- Strengthens core and improves posture, which helps protect the back
- All you need is your body weight, no extra equipment needed
- Improvement in balance and coordination
- Easy to incorporate into your fitness routine
- Improvement in flexibility
- Balances muscles
- Burns calories
Tips for using a stability ball
Start by choosing the correct size ball for your height:
– up to 5’1”
– small (ball height 45 cm/18”)
– 5’1” to 5’7”
– medium (ball height 55 cm/22”)
5’8” to 6’1”
– large (ball height 65 cm/26”)
If you’re new to using a stability ball, for easier use, deflate the ball slightly. A firmer ball will make the exercises harder, so as you get stronger you can inflate the ball more to make it firmer.
Whether using your exercise ball inside or outside be sure to choose an open area where you have enough room to move around.
While sitting on the ball, keep your feet flat on the floor hip width apart, knees bent at a 90 degree angle directly over your ankles, and keep your back straight. If you feel unstable while sitting, it’s OK to spread your feet a little wider.
As with all exercises, make sure to breathe properly. Breathe in through the nose and out through your mouth during each exercise.
Total-Body Stability Ball Exercises Workout for Beginners
5-minute warm up:
- Walking lunges
- Arm circles
- Trunk twists
- Knee hugs
- Walk out planks
Complete the following exercises for as many reps you can for 30 seconds each. Repeat the circuit 3 times.
- Begin in a push up position/high plank with feet together on the ball and hands on the floor.
- While keeping your legs straight and balancing on your ball, bend your elbows and lower your upper body into a push-up, and then to return to the starting position.
- In a plank position, place hands flat on floor and shins on ball.
- Next, draw your hips in forward and up with the ball roll under your toes until your rear-end is in line with your shoulders. Pause, then slowly return to starting position.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and heels resting on the ball. Next raise your hips up to form a straight line from neck to feet.
- Lift the straight right leg up toward the ceiling. Switch sides, bringing your straight left leg up. Keep switching back from right leg to left leg.
- Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs straight, heels resting on the ball.
- Lift your hips toward the ceiling as you bend your knees, squeeze your hamstrings and glutes while curling the ball in toward your glutes. Return to beginning position and repeat.
- Sit on ball and walk your feet forward until ball rolls out just below your shoulder blades. Place your fingertips behind your head with your elbows bent out to the sides.
- Lift and extend your right leg while reaching your left hand to your right foot toes. Switch sides and repeat.
- While lying face down with your chest on the ball, extend your legs behind on the balls of your feet for stabilization. Place both hands behind your head.
- Keep control and lift up your upper body, bringing your chest off the ball and contracting your back muscles. Return to starting position and repeat.