5 Exercises You Can Do With a Stability Ball

Tone your arms and abs fast

Everyone has seen those big, bouncy balls in various sizes at the gym. Stability balls are a great way to improve strength, cardio endurance and balance. By tackling basic moves such as push-ups, squats, planks and even bicep curls on an unstable surface, you'll get a better workout. Your muscles have to work harder to balance when using a stability ball.

To get the best workout, make sure to choose the correct size stability ball. Most balls come in three diameters based on the user’s height: 55 cm for those between 4’11” and 5’4”, 65 cm for people between 5’4” and 5’7”, and 75 cm for those between 5’11” and 6’7”. A good rule of thumb for finding the right fit is to sit on the ball and make sure the hips and knees are at right angles with the floor.

Depending on your fitness level, try doing each of these exercises a minimum of 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps, except the plank as noted. And get ready for killer arms and abs.

5 Exercises You Can Do With a Stability Ball

1. Push-Up

Your arms and shoulders will feel the burn with the see-saw-like move this exercise dishes out, and your chest and core will feel it as well.

How to do it:

Lie with your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your shins. Pull your navel in toward your spine, bending your elbows.

Lower your upper body to the floor. Hold this position for three seconds, and then push up so your elbows are straight but not locked. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged.

5 Exercises You Can Do With a Stability Ball

2. Tricep Extension

This will work out your triceps as well as your biceps and give you a toned look for swimsuit season.

How to do it:

Sit on a stability ball and raise the dumbbells over your head with your feet flat on the floor. While keeping your upper arms still, lower the dumbbells behind your head by hinging at the elbow joint. Once your forearms are parallel to the floor, return your arms back up to an overhead extension.

5 Exercises You Can Do With a Stability Ball

3. Rear Lateral Raise

Work your upper back and shoulders with this easy yet intense move.

How to do it:

Sit on the stability ball and lean slightly forward, keeping your abs tucked in. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms extended toward the floor. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, slowly raise dumbbells out to the sides, as shown, up to shoulder height.

5 Exercises You Can Do With a Stability Ball

4. Plank

Tighten your abs and strengthen your lower back and other core muscles with a stability ball plank.

How to do it:

Start to get into a pushup position but place your forearms on the stability ball. Place your elbows so that your arms and body form a 90-degree angle, and your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs. Squeeze your glutes. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Start with 5 reps of 10 seconds each, and build up to 60-90 seconds as you progress.

5. Bicep Curl

This is almost like a regular non-stability ball bicep curl, except you get the added benefit of balancing your core muscles to further tone your abs.

How to do it:

Sit on the stability ball with your hips slightly forward on the top of the ball. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, start with your arms hanging straight down. With your palms facing forward, bend your elbows and bring your hands towards your shoulders, stopping about four inches from your shoulders. Lower slowly to the starting position.

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