Chances are, you’ve already elevated your abs work onto a stability ball. Smart move: Research shows that crunches atop a ball are approximately twice as effective as those done on the floor. But stop there and you’re selling this multitasking tool short.
Most people think a stability ball is just for strengthening their core, but training with a ball can tone muscles throughout the entire body.
Working out with one regularly also improves flexibility, balance, posture, and coordination. Plus, by swapping your old go-to moves for the following innovative workout, you’ll wake up your body and shock it into burning more calories. You’ll also increase cardio and muscular endurance (how long your heart and muscles can push before calling it quits). If your goal is just to stay generally fit, you should aim to add stability training into your fitness routine TK times per week.
This total-body workout below is a great place to start. It’s broken down into four different sections, each of which is targeting a different muscle group: core, upper body, lower body, and back.
Time: 45–60 minutes
Equipment: stability ball, workout mat
Good for: total-body strength training and muscle endurance
Instructions: Complete as many reps of each exercise as possible for 60 seconds and then continue to the next move without stopping.
Teaser Toe Taps
How to: Start sitting on mat with stability ball between hands raised to eye level and legs straight in front of you on the floor with feet pointed. Lift right leg off mat to touch shoelaces to bottom of ball. Lower back down and do the same thing with left leg. That’s one rep.
Pike and Twist
How to: Start in plank position with right foot on stability ball (toes pointed) and left leg bent with left foot pressed against inside of right calf and left knee pointing toward mat. Lift butt into air to create “V” shape with body and then rotate torso to the right to bring left knee across body toward right hip. Draw it back under left hip and return to starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: Start in a plank position with feet on stability ball (toes pointed). Engage core and pull knees forward until they’re under hips, keeping hips level. Return to plank position. That’s one rep.
How to: Start kneeling on mat with bum seated on heels and stability ball between hands, arms lifted overhead, biceps by ears. Without moving lower body, side bend at waist to lower stability ball toward left side of mat. Return to center and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
Stir the Pot
How to: Start in kneeling plank position with forearms on stability ball—your body should form a straight line from head to knees. Engage abs and move forearms in a full circle, so the stability ball moves as well, keeping the rest of your body still. That’s one rep.
Kneeling Triceps Extension
How to: Start kneeling on yoga mat with butt rested on heels, stability ball in lap with arms extended on top of it so that elbows and forearms are both on ball. Bend arms to 90 degrees without losing contact with ball and squeeze triceps, then return to start position. That’s one rep.
Single-Arm Sphinx Press
How to: Start in kneeling plank position with right hand and forearm on stability ball and left hand on mat. While keeping hips level and not moving the ball, lower down onto left forearm. Push back up to starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: Start kneeling on mat with butt on heels hugging stability ball in front of you with hands and forearms, arms bent. Squeeze the ball and hold for five seconds then release. That’s one rep.
How to: Start kneeling on mat with butt on heels holding stability ball in front of you, arms straight. Bend arms to 90 degrees, squeeze biceps, and hold for five seconds then return to start position. That’s one rep.
Upper-Body CARs (Controlled Articulated Rotations)
How to: Start kneeling on mat with butt on heels holding stability ball in front of you, arms straight. Begin drawing circles with shoulders by pulling them up toward ears, down back, and back to starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: Start lying on stomach with forehead resting on forearms, legs extended straight on mat and stability ball gently squeezed between ankles and feet. Without moving upper body, bend knees and engage hamstrings to lift feet and ball a few inches off floor. Return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Start lying on back with arms by sides, legs bent at 90 degrees (shins parallel to mat) and feet on stability ball. Push down into soles, upper back, and arms to lift hips off ground a few inches. Return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Start lying on back with arms at sides and legs extended at 45-degree angle, feet resting on stability ball. Press into upper back and arms to lift hips off ground. Then, bend knees and engage hamstrings to pull heels toward butt. Re-extend legs. That’s one rep.
How to: Start with arms behind head (elbows wide), upper back pressed into stability ball, legs bent and feet flat on floor, hips hovering above mat. Lean back into stability ball and lift hips toward ceiling until thighs are parallel to mat. Return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Start lying on stomach with legs extended on floor, arms straight (biceps by ears) holding stability ball between hands, and head and shoulders hovering above floor. Without moving lower body, lift chest off ground. Return to start. That’s one rep.
Back Extension and Twist
How to: Start lying with stomach on stability ball, legs extended, balanced on balls of feet, hands behind head, elbows wide, and gaze at ground in front of you. Lift head, shoulders and chest up and rotate torso to left side so that right elbow draws toward top of mat. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side and then the other before continuing to next move.
How to: Start lying on stomach with legs extended on floor and stability ball gently squeezed between feet, arms straight forward, hovering above mat, and shoulders and head lifted off floor a few inches. At the same time, lift legs to hover off floor and raise chest off mat as you bend right arm and pull elbow back toward rib cage. Return to start and repeat on the left side. That’s one rep.
Opposite Limb Extension
How to: Start in plank position with hips resting on stability ball. At the same time, lift right leg and left arm into air. Return to start and repeat with opposite limbs. That’s one rep.
Rolling Lat Press
How to: Start kneeling at back of mat with butt on heels and arms extended (palms facing each other) and hands resting on stability ball. At the same time, lift hips to come into a high-kneeing position, as you roll ball back toward body. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Source: Read Full Article