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Looking to build a strong core and improve your overall fitness?
Look no further than the exercise ball.
Incorporating exercise ball core strength workouts into your training can help improve balance, stability and core-strength.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, there are a variety of stability ball core exercises you can do to target your abdominals so you can build a stronger core.
Recommended Reading – Weighted Ab Workouts At Home: 8 Best Dumbbell Core Exercises
From stability ball crunches to V-sits, and the lying leg raise, the exercise ball is a versatile tool that can help you get the results you’re looking for.
By challenging your balance and stability, exercise ball workouts can also help improve your posture, alleviate pain to your lower back and even increase the strength to your hip flexors.
Understanding Core Strength
To achieve a strong core, it is important to understand what it means and how it works.
Your core is made up of several muscles that work together to provide stability and support for your spine and pelvis.
The deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominis, erector spinae, and pelvic floor muscles, make up the foundation of your core.
These muscles help to stabilize your spine and pelvis during movement.
The rectus abdominus is your six-pack muscle forming part of your abdominals.
This muscle is important for helping you to flex your lumbar spine and promotes good posture.
It sits just underneath your skin and extends from your rib cage to your pubic bone.
Your abdominal muscles also include your internal and external obliques which also contribute to good posture and support of your spine.
Core strength is not just about having a six-pack.
By focusing on core-strength exercises to build a strong core can help to better support your body during movement.
Aside from strength, core stability is also important which can help with proper alignment of your entire body.
Benefits Of Exercise Ball Core Strength Workouts
Here are some benefits of incorporating exercise ball core training into your workout routine:
Targets Multiple Muscle Groups
A stability ball workout will not just target your core.
In fact, you’ll engage multiple muscle groups to both your upper body and lower body.
Working your whole body using a gym ball can help you build strength and improve your overall fitness.
Improves Range Of Motion
The instability of the exercise ball means that you actively engage multiple muscles to maintain balance and coordination.
Overtime, this may help to increase your range of motion to various joints and improve your flexibility.
Promotes Weight Loss
Balance ball workouts can help you to burn calories and lose weight.
By engaging multiple muscle groups, you can help to create a calorie deficit which, when combined with a proper diet, can lead to weight loss.
The increase in lean muscle mass will also contribute to additional calorie burn.
Reduces Chronic Low Back Pain
If you suffer from chronic low back pain, you may find that improving your core strength can help to reduce discomfort.
When your core becomes stronger this can encourage better posture and stronger back muscles.
This in turn helps to lessen low back pain and other associated symptoms.
Best Core Strength Workout Using An Exercise Ball
Below we suggest some of the best stability ball exercises that can form your core workout.
- Start by sitting on top of the ball and roll back, lowering your upper body until your back is fully supported by the ball with your glutes hanging off the edge.
- Either cross your hands across your chest or place them behind your head.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground and knees bent to a 90-degree angle. This is your starting position.
- Now engage your core and raise your upper body up as though performing a sit up.
- Pause at the top and with control lower back down to the start.
- Complete 10 repetitions.
Swiss Ball Lying Leg Raise
- Start by lying on the ground and place the ball between your feet and lower legs.
- Keep your arms down by your sides and palms flat on the floor.
- For comfort you can place a towel or your hands under your hips.
- Now brace your core and, gripping the ball between your feet, raise both legs straight up.
- Squeeze your feet together to maintain a hold of the ball and keep your legs straight throughout.
- Stop once your feet point towards the ceiling, then lower back down to the start.
- Perform 12 repetitions.
Stability Ball Roll Out
- Begin on your knees with the ball directly in front of you.
- Place your fingertips on the ball.
- Now slowly begin to roll the ball forwards so that your body drops down towards the floor.
- It’s important to keep your body in a straight line from your head to knees throughout the entire movement.
- Roll the ball forwards getting as low as possible. You should feel your abs contract and your forearms should be resting on the ball.
- Now roll back up to the start and perform a total of 10 to 12 reps.
Swiss Ball Jack Knife
- Start by getting yourself into a push up position with your feet on the ball.
- Keep your arms and upper back straight throughout.
- Engage your core and then draw your knees towards your chest by rolling the ball towards your head.
- Try and get your knees as close as possible to your chest and then hold this position for a couple of seconds.
- Use control to roll the ball back to the start.
- Complete a total of 10 to 15 repetitions.
V Hold Ball Pass
- Begin by lying flat on the ground with your feet at shoulder width apart and legs extended out overhead.
- Simultaneously raise your legs and arms away from the ground and pass the ball from your hands to your feet.
- Keep your arms and legs straight throughout the whole exercise.
- Now lower your legs and arms back down to the original position.
- Continue to repeat this movement passing the ball from your hands to your feet.
- Perform 20 repetitions.
Common Mistakes And How to Avoid Them
When it comes to exercising with an exercise ball, there are a few common mistakes that people make.
If you’re unsure about competing the above exercises with proper form it’s a good idea to seek the advice from a personal trainer.
Here are some of these mistakes and how you can avoid them:
Using The Wrong Size Ball
Make sure you are using the right size ball for your height and for the exercise you are performing.
If the ball is too small, it will be unstable and difficult to use.
If the ball is too big, it will be difficult to control.
This can lead to performing the exercises incorrectly which may lead to injury.
Not Engaging Your Core
The whole point of using an exercise ball is to engage your core muscles.
If you are not engaging your core, you are not getting the full benefit of the exercise.
Make sure you focus on your core muscles and engage them throughout the exercise.
Not only will this increase core strength but it will provide stability during the exercise.
Rushing Through The Exercise
It’s easy to rush through exercises, especially if you’re new to using an exercise ball.
However, by doing this can lead to injury and potentially sloppy form.
Take your time and focus on contracting your muscles and using control throughout to get the most benefit from your core workout.
Using momentum to complete an exercise is another common mistake.
This essentially means you’re using other parts of your body to help you complete an exercise.
For example, during a crunch many people place their hands behind their head and pull themselves up rather than use their core to raise their torso.
This takes away from the effectiveness of the exercise and can lead to injury.
Make sure you are using your muscles to complete the exercise, not momentum.
Whilst building a strong core requires dedication and consistent effort, the rewards are undoubtedly worth it.
Whether you’re looking to improve your athletic performance, enhance your posture, or reduce lower back pain, a strong core can help you achieve all these things.
Incorporating a variety of core-strengthening exercises into a well-rounded fitness regimen is a proactive step toward enjoying a more active, balanced, and fulfilling life.
Don’t have an exercise ball?
Then why not head on over to our article ‘Plank Exercises For Beginners’.
Here we suggest some great plank exercises you can do without the need for any equipment.