We love finding new ways to work your core. The powerhouse muscle group provides stability and strength for everything from lifting heavier weights to dance cardio, so giving it some extra TLC is never a bad idea.
When was the last time you used a stability ball at the gym? Sure, shiny new gadgets and machinery might look fun, but some machines can be more trouble than they’re worth. Performing basic moves like crunches on an unstable surface, you’ll increase muscle activity when compared to standard crunches. Talk about more bang for your buck!
Pick 3–4 of these exercises and add ‘em onto a cardio day or integrate them into your strength workout. Complete 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps. It’s no bouncy castle, but we guarantee you’ll come around to these core-focused stability ball exercises!
1. Stability ball crunch:
- Lie faceup on the ball, with the ball under your low back.
- Keep your feet on the floor, hip-width apart, and hands behind your ears.
- Brace your core, tighten glutes, and slowly crunch upper body upward, raising shoulders off the ball and tucking your chin to chest.
- Slowly lower upper body down to return to start.
- That’s 1 rep.
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2. Stability ball oblique crunches:
- Start in the same position as above.
- Brace your core by pulling navel toward spine.
- Tighten glutes and slowly crunch up and to the right.
- Lift shoulder blades off the ball and rotate upper body to the right.
- Lower back down and repeat on the left side.
- That’s 1 rep.
Related article: Shape Up Your Core And Obliques With These 6 Minute Bodyweight Moves
3. Stability ball knee raise:
- Balancing on the ball with your core braced.
- Lift right foot off the ground and bring right knee toward chest.
- Slowly replace the right foot, then repeat on other side.
- That’s 1 rep.
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4. Stability ball bicycle crunch:
- Brace your core and crunch up, simultaneously raising right knee toward chest and rotating upper body to touch left elbow to right knee (like a bicycle crunch).
- Lower foot and upper body at the same time, then repeat on other side.
- Hit both sides for 1 rep.
Related article: 5 Core Exercises In 5 Minutes To Help Build Your Strength And Confidence
5. Stability ball tuck:
- This one’s a balancing act.
- Start in a high plank, with wrists under shoulders, core engaged, and top of feet resting on the ball.
- Keep hips level and use core to pull knees toward chest, rolling the ball toward you.
- Straighten legs to return to start.
Related article: Can You Get A Six Pack Without Crunches? This Workout Will Strengthen And Tone Your Core Crunch-free
6. Stability ball pike:
- You’ll want to master the move above before attempting this variation.
- Start in the same position as the tuck.
- Engage your core and pull feet toward arms.
- Keep legs straight, hiking hips high, and use your core to stay balanced.
- Push the ball away and lower your hips to return to start.
Related article: 5 Plank Variations For A Well Defined Six-Pack, Carve Your Core And Get Stronger
7. Stability ball forearm plank jacks:
- Start in a forearm plank with forearms on ball, legs extended, core braced, and hips level.
- Feet should be close together.
- Keeping core tight, jump your feet wide.
- Now jump them back together quickly to return to start.
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8. Stability ball hip thrust:
- Lie faceup on floor with legs nearly straight, heels resting on ball, hips lifted off floor.
- Allow arms to rest at sides.
- Engage your core and pull the ball toward you by bending knees.
- Squeeze glutes, hamstrings, and continue to keep core tight.
- In one fluid movement, extend legs to return to start.