When you’re looking for an alternative workout for when you’re short on time and want to be fit, choose a total body stability ball workout and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck—and core!
These balls, also known as Swiss balls or fitness balls, offer a challenging short workout, plenty of exercise variety, and are simple enough for beginners to learn.
Why is the stability ball workout so effective? Basically, it’s because it’s round. Since it rolls, it’s an unstable surface, and all of the muscles of your body may be called upon to help you keep your balance and control your movements.
Stability Ball Workout Exercises
With just six exercises, this stability ball workout is perfect to add to a couple of days in your weekly routine, giving you a bodyweight workout for strength from head to toe. Tackle the moves one set at a time at first, then when you’re ready, progress to two or three sets of each.
1. Overhead Squat
Take the Swiss ball and hold it over your head with your arms locked. Place your feet about shoulder width apart and drop down into a squat. Drop down to about a 90 degree angle and then stand back up. Do 15 repetitions.
2. Push Up
Get into a pushup position by placing your hands on top of the ball. Brace your core, flex your knees and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Bend your elbows to lower your torso toward the ball. When your chest comes within an inch or two of the ball, press back up. Do 15 repetitions.
3. Crunch on the Ball
Lie back on the ball, looking up at the ceiling, with your middle back resting on top of the ball and your arms straight, palms on your thighs. Tuck your chin and curve your body forward, peeling off the ball one vertebra at a time. Keep your hands on your thighs for extra control (supporting your head with hands is okay, but you must be careful not to yank on your neck). Lower slowing down to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions.
4. Bridge up
Lie flat on the floor with your arms next to you and your lower calves or ankles resting on the ball. Hold your abs and avoid arching your back as you raise your pelvis and spine up until you form a reverse plank with the ball. Bend your knees and roll the ball toward you until your feet are on top of the ball. Slowly extend your legs back out and return to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions.
5. Triceps Dip
Sit on a bench with a ball placed in front of you, then extend your legs out until your calves are resting on top of the ball. Place your palms next to you over the edge of the bench, fingers facing front. Straighten your arms to lift your hips off the bench then bend your arms to lower your body toward the bench. Keep your legs balanced on the stability ball. Do 15 repetitions.
6. Plank on the Ball
Kneel with the ball in front of you. Take the position of a forearm plank with your forearms resting on the ball. Engage your abs and keep your head, neck and your spine in a line. Try to hold the pose for up to 60 seconds. To progress, try lifting one foot up off the floor, then the other.