4 Stability Ball Exercises to Challenge Your Core

Amanda Thebe

Coach

DVRT, Nutrition, Personal Training

We all have our favorite exercises and areas of the body we like to train, and for me that is my core. I just love doing “abs”—it’s by far the easiest and most powerful part of my body so I do them as much as possible. Most of us will default to doing our easiest thing, and I am no different. Plus, I consider it the treat part of my workout.

 

The Effectiveness of the Stability Ball

The reason I like to workout using the stability ball is that you really get some bang for your buck. You will challenge your entire body while improving core strength and functioning.

 

 

Before you start with any of the following exercises, you need to make sure you can actively hold a bodyweight plank for a least one minute. All of these movements will challenge your base of stability, so you must ensure you are ready to perform them. Each exercise is a progression on the next, so take your time to master each movement before continuing onto the next exercise.

 

 

Stability Ball Plank

Stability Ball Plank

 

Instructions:

  • Create a rigid tension throughout the body from the tip of your toes to the crown of your head.
  • Keep your gaze slightly in front of you on the floor, to ensure your neck stays in a neutral position.
  • Actively push your hands into the floor.
  • Squeeze your butt.

 

Stability Ball Jack Knife

Moving on from the plank, creating further instability by moving the ball.

 

Stability Ball Jack Knife

 

Instructions:

  • Lift your hips as you roll the ball inwards to create space to bring the knees in to a “tuck” position.
  • Make sure your shoulders are stacked above your wrists.
  • Maintain tension throughout the core during the movement.

 

Stability Ball Body Saws

Take your time with this next exercise and start with low reps. If you get tired, your form will likely fail so ensure you have quality over quantity.

 

Stability Ball Saws

 

Instructions:

  • Start with your shins on the ball and find a solid plank position.
  • Push back, maintaining the plank so that you roll to your knees.
  • Pull underneath the armpits which will activate your lats to return back to the original position.
  • The closer your hands are to the ball the easier the movement will be.
  • Ensure that you don’t drop your hips and place stress on your lower back.

 

Stability Ball Pikes

This is the hardest of all the exercises because it not only requires you to have a solid, stable core, it also requires you to be fairly brave as you pike up into a half-handstand position.

 

Stability Ball Pikes

 

Instructions:

  • Start in your plank position.
  • As your curl forward make sure your legs remain straight and strong.
  • Your hips will lift in the air and toes will roll to the top of the ball.
  • Make sure your shoulders are positioned over your wrists.
  • Slowly return to start position and avoid sagging through the lower back.

 

Do you like these? Do you have any favorite plank exercises?

 

Coach Amanda Thebe is Breaking Muscle's Expert Coach in Residence. If you are a woman who is over 40 years old and you want Coach Thebe to cover a topic you are interested in or would like her to address a specific issue you may have, email helpme@breakingmuscle.com. Put Coach Thebe in the subject line, and let us know what you need in your training.
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