Tone Your Muscles Faster With These Stability-Ball Moves

Tone Your Muscles Faster With These Stability-Ball Moves

Don’t just walk by your stability ball! It’s one of the best fitness tools you can own, so put yours to good use with these incredibly effective moves. Get ready to target your arms, abs, butt, and legs u2014 you’ll definitely be sore tomorrow. Remember, size does matter! It’s best to work with a ball appropriately sized for you, so check out this exercise ball chart to see which dimension best fits you.

| Lunges on a Ball

Doing lunges with your back leg resting on a ball offers the instability you need to make your lower body work even more.

  • Place the top of your left foot on the ball. Keep your right knee soft u2014 do not lock your standing knee.
  • Reach your arms forward at shoulder height. If balancing in this position is too challenging, open your arms out to the sides. Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and actively pull your deep abs toward your spine. Bend your right knee, engage your right glute, and lunge. The ball will move back and your shin will move to top of the ball. Make sure your right knee doesn’t move beyond your toes.
  • Inhale to straighten the front leg. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side.

| Standing Ab Rollout

If this core move is too difficult to do standing up, do it with your knees on the floor.

  • Place your palms on the ball, and stand with your legs wide, about three or so feet apart. Walk the ball out so your back is straight and your hips are in the same line as your ankles.
  • From here, lean your body forward, allowing the ball to roll down your forearms. Stop once your elbows reach the ball and you’re balancing on your tiptoes.
  • Then use your core and legs to get your body back to the starting position. Keep your abs engaged throughout this move.
  • Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

| Plank With Leg Lift

Planks are effective on their own, but add a stability ball in the mix and you’ll really feel the burn in this core and butt-toning move.

  • Lie on an exercise ball under your belly and walk your hands out until the ball is under your shins. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
  • Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs and stabilize your torso.
  • Lift your left leg up, squeezing your glute, then slowly lower your leg back onto the ball. Switch sides and lift the right leg keeping your pelvis square. This counts as one repetition. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.

| Ball Pike to Plank

Pretty challenging, but oh so effective.

  • Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your shins on the ball.
  • Do not allow your lower back to arch. Keep your feet, pelvis, and shoulders in one long line.
  • On an exhale, pull your abs deeply to your spine and use your abs to fold your body in half, pulling the ball forward toward your hands as your pelvis moves up in the air.
  • Your toes will move onto the top of ball and your back will become perpendicular to the floor, like a handstand. Allow your head to fall between your arms, keeping your neck long and in line with your spine.
  • Lower yourself back into a plank position and do not allow your pelvis to sag below your shoulders.
  • Do two or three sets of 10 reps.

| Back Extensions

This may look relaxing, but you’ll really feel this in your back and upper body.

  • Lay your belly on a ball and find stability by spreading your legs wide and planting your toes on the floor.
  • Bring your arms in front of your ball, make fists, and point your thumbs out to the sides.
  • Take a breath in and, as you exhale, raise your upper torso as much as you can, so your chest comes off the ball, and lift the arms out wide. Inhale to slowly lower your torso back to the starting position. Keeping your movements slow allows you to work your abs.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
  • | Crunches

    Doing crunches on a ball is so much more effective than doing them on the floor.

    • Sit on the ball. Place your hands behind your head, and walk your feet away, resting your middle back (not your upper back) on the ball. Keep the knees bent at right angles.
    • Exhale and lift your upper body by about 45 degrees, pulling the deep abs in toward the spine, and inhale to return to lower to the starting position.
    • Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

    | Ball Leg Lifts

    This exercise will tone your thighs, especially your inner thighs, and also your core.

    • Lie on your side on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your body. If this is uncomfortable, bend your bottom elbow and rest your head on your hand.
    • Place a large exercise ball in between your feet and slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling using only your hips and butt. Return to the start position. This counts as one repetition.
    • Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side.

    | Superman Ball Lifts

    This is a butt-challenging variation on your standard Superman.

    • Lie on your belly, and hold an exercise ball between your feet.
    • Engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
    • As you inhale, squeeze the ball and lift your knees, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10, and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
    • Complete two sets of 10 lifts.

    | Lying Hamstring Curl

    Here’s a great one for toning the tush and backs of the thighs.

    • Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up, and hold that position through the entire exercise.
    • Flex your feet and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support u2014 don’t use them, though; they are just for support.
    • Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position; don’t thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.
    • Then slowly return to the start position (straight legs, hips bridged) to complete one repetition.
    • Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

    | Ball Pass

    Check out this effective ab move.

    • Lie on your back, holding an exercise ball above your chest, extending your feet up toward the ceiling.
    • On an exhale, move your arms and legs away from each other, lowering both toward the ground. Inhale to bring them back toward each other, and transfer the ball from your hands to your legs.
    • Then lower your arms and legs toward the floor away from each other.
    • Bring them back together, transferring the ball back to your hands.
    • Continue like this, completing 10 to 20 reps.

    | Essential Flat-Belly Exercises

    Get strong, sculpted abs with these moves incorporating a stability ball, which is a great tool for making basic exercises even more challenging. Whether you’re lying on a stability ball or simply holding it, you’ll quickly learn how much harder your body has to work u2014 especially when it comes to the abs! Here’s a series of moves that really focus on strengthening and toning your entire core. Hit play, and get ready to feel the burn!

    | Tone Your Abs and Booty With Two Easy Moves

    We love the versatility of the exercise ball and decided to share our two favorite moves with you: learn how to work your abs without crunches and your backside without squats.

    | 6 Must-Do Moves With a Stability Ball

    After warming up with light cardio for five minutes, work your way through this series of six exercises.

Tone Your Muscles Faster With These Stability-Ball Moves

Tone Your Muscles Faster With These Stability-Ball Moves

Don’t just walk by your stability ball! It’s one of the best fitness tools you can own| so put yours to good use with these incredibly effective moves. Get ready to target your arms| abs| butt| and legs u2014 you’ll definitely be sore tomorrow. Remember| size does matter! It’s best to work with a ball appropriately sized for you| so check out this exercise ball chart to see which dimension best fits you.

| Lunges on a Ball

Doing lunges with your back leg resting on a ball offers the instability you need to make your lower body work even more.

  • Place the top of your left foot on the ball. Keep your right knee soft u2014 do not lock your standing knee.
  • Reach your arms forward at shoulder height. If balancing in this position is too challenging| open your arms out to the sides. Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and actively pull your deep abs toward your spine. Bend your right knee| engage your right glute| and lunge. The ball will move back and your shin will move to top of the ball. Make sure your right knee doesn’t move beyond your toes.
  • Inhale to straighten the front leg. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side.

| Standing Ab Rollout

If this core move is too difficult to do standing up| do it with your knees on the floor.

  • Place your palms on the ball| and stand with your legs wide| about three or so feet apart. Walk the ball out so your back is straight and your hips are in the same line as your ankles.
  • From here| lean your body forward| allowing the ball to roll down your forearms. Stop once your elbows reach the ball and you’re balancing on your tiptoes.
  • Then use your core and legs to get your body back to the starting position. Keep your abs engaged throughout this move.
  • Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

| Plank With Leg Lift

Planks are effective on their own| but add a stability ball in the mix and you’ll really feel the burn in this core and butt-toning move.

  • Lie on an exercise ball under your belly and walk your hands out until the ball is under your shins. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
  • Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs and stabilize your torso.
  • Lift your left leg up| squeezing your glute| then slowly lower your leg back onto the ball. Switch sides and lift the right leg keeping your pelvis square. This counts as one repetition. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.

| Ball Pike to Plank

Pretty challenging| but oh so effective.

  • Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your shins on the ball.
  • Do not allow your lower back to arch. Keep your feet| pelvis| and shoulders in one long line.
  • On an exhale| pull your abs deeply to your spine and use your abs to fold your body in half| pulling the ball forward toward your hands as your pelvis moves up in the air.
  • Your toes will move onto the top of ball and your back will become perpendicular to the floor| like a handstand. Allow your head to fall between your arms| keeping your neck long and in line with your spine.
  • Lower yourself back into a plank position and do not allow your pelvis to sag below your shoulders.
  • Do two or three sets of 10 reps.

| Back Extensions

This may look relaxing| but you’ll really feel this in your back and upper body.

  • Lay your belly on a ball and find stability by spreading your legs wide and planting your toes on the floor.
  • Bring your arms in front of your ball| make fists| and point your thumbs out to the sides.
  • Take a breath in and| as you exhale| raise your upper torso as much as you can| so your chest comes off the ball| and lift the arms out wide. Inhale to slowly lower your torso back to the starting position. Keeping your movements slow allows you to work your abs.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
  • | Crunches

    Doing crunches on a ball is so much more effective than doing them on the floor.

    • Sit on the ball. Place your hands behind your head| and walk your feet away| resting your middle back (not your upper back) on the ball. Keep the knees bent at right angles.
    • Exhale and lift your upper body by about 45 degrees| pulling the deep abs in toward the spine| and inhale to return to lower to the starting position.
    • Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

    | Ball Leg Lifts

    This exercise will tone your thighs| especially your inner thighs| and also your core.

    • Lie on your side on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your body. If this is uncomfortable| bend your bottom elbow and rest your head on your hand.
    • Place a large exercise ball in between your feet and slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling using only your hips and butt. Return to the start position. This counts as one repetition.
    • Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side.

    | Superman Ball Lifts

    This is a butt-challenging variation on your standard Superman.

    • Lie on your belly| and hold an exercise ball between your feet.
    • Engage your abs| and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
    • As you inhale| squeeze the ball and lift your knees| arms| and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10| and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
    • Complete two sets of 10 lifts.

    | Lying Hamstring Curl

    Here’s a great one for toning the tush and backs of the thighs.

    • Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up| and hold that position through the entire exercise.
    • Flex your feet and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support u2014 don’t use them| though; they are just for support.
    • Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position; don’t thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.
    • Then slowly return to the start position (straight legs| hips bridged) to complete one repetition.
    • Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

    | Ball Pass

    Check out this effective ab move.

    • Lie on your back| holding an exercise ball above your chest| extending your feet up toward the ceiling.
    • On an exhale| move your arms and legs away from each other| lowering both toward the ground. Inhale to bring them back toward each other| and transfer the ball from your hands to your legs.
    • Then lower your arms and legs toward the floor away from each other.
    • Bring them back together| transferring the ball back to your hands.
    • Continue like this| completing 10 to 20 reps.

    | Essential Flat-Belly Exercises

    Get strong| sculpted abs with these moves incorporating a stability ball| which is a great tool for making basic exercises even more challenging. Whether you’re lying on a stability ball or simply holding it| you’ll quickly learn how much harder your body has to work u2014 especially when it comes to the abs! Here’s a series of moves that really focus on strengthening and toning your entire core. Hit play| and get ready to feel the burn!

    | Tone Your Abs and Booty With Two Easy Moves

    We love the versatility of the exercise ball and decided to share our two favorite moves with you: learn how to work your abs without crunches and your backside without squats.

    | 6 Must-Do Moves With a Stability Ball

    After warming up with light cardio for five minutes| work your way through this series of six exercises.

Tighten Up Your Tush With 3 Exercise-Ball Moves

For really targeting your tush, an exercise ball can be a big help. If you’re over your standard routine of squats and lunges, you’re sure to find a favorite in the following three moves.

Lying Hamstring Curl

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography at J+K Fitness StudioIf working out your backside and your hamstrings at the same time sounds up your alley, it’s time to try out this easy-to-follow lying hamstring curl.

Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up with knees slightly bent, and hold that position through the entire exercise. A slight bend in the knee allows you to focus the work more in the glutes while also protecting the knee joints.Flex your feet, and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support ¡ª don’t use them, though; they are just for support.Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position; don’t thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.Then slowly return to the start position to complete one rep.Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.Superman Booty Lifts

Source: POPSUGAR StudiosFor a challenging variation on the standard Superman, the power of this Superman booty lift is all worth the extra effort!

Lie on your belly, and hold an exercise ball between your feet. Engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.As you inhale, squeeze the ball and lift your knees, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10, and then slowly release your body back to the floor.Repeat for two sets of 10 lifts.Plank Booty Leg Lifts

Source: POPSUGAR StudiosDone with squats? These plank booty leg lifts are an awesome alternative for working out your tush and the back of your thighs at the same time.

Lie on your belly on an exercise ball, and walk your hands out so the ball is underneath your shins. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders.Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs, which will help keep your spine straight and your body stabilized.Lift your right leg up into the air, then slowly lower it back toward the ball, but don’t let it touch. This counts as one repetition. Keep your pelvis level throughout your reps.Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps with the right leg, and then repeat with the left.

Tighten Up Your Tush With 3 Exercise-Ball Moves

For really targeting your tush| an exercise ball can be a big help. If you’re over your standard routine of squats and lunges| you’re sure to find a favorite in the following three moves.

Lying Hamstring Curl

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography at J+K Fitness StudioIf working out your backside and your hamstrings at the same time sounds up your alley| it’s time to try out this easy-to-follow lying hamstring curl.

Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up with knees slightly bent| and hold that position through the entire exercise. A slight bend in the knee allows you to focus the work more in the glutes while also protecting the knee joints.Flex your feet| and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support ¡ª don’t use them| though; they are just for support.Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position; don’t thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.Then slowly return to the start position to complete one rep.Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.Superman Booty Lifts

Source: POPSUGAR StudiosFor a challenging variation on the standard Superman| the power of this Superman booty lift is all worth the extra effort!

Lie on your belly| and hold an exercise ball between your feet. Engage your abs| and extend your arms straight out in front of you.As you inhale| squeeze the ball and lift your knees| arms| and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10| and then slowly release your body back to the floor.Repeat for two sets of 10 lifts.Plank Booty Leg Lifts

Source: POPSUGAR StudiosDone with squats? These plank booty leg lifts are an awesome alternative for working out your tush and the back of your thighs at the same time.

Lie on your belly on an exercise ball| and walk your hands out so the ball is underneath your shins. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders.Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs| which will help keep your spine straight and your body stabilized.Lift your right leg up into the air| then slowly lower it back toward the ball| but don’t let it touch. This counts as one repetition. Keep your pelvis level throughout your reps.Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps with the right leg| and then repeat with the left.

Get More Out of Your Workouts With an Exercise Ball

Physio ball, exercise ball, stability ball, fitness ball ¡ª whatever you call it, we think a ball is must have for just about everyone. A stability ball can be used in the office and the gym ¡ª with a ball, basic exercises like sit-ups or push-ups become much more challenging and effective. If you’re new to this piece of fitness equipment, here are some details you should know.

Sizing and Sitting

You need to buy the correct size ball for your height. The diameter of the ball makes all the difference ¡ª?size does matter. If you are close to the cut off point between sizes, try testing out both sizes and see which works best for you. Here are basic guidelines to follow:

4’11” to 5’4″ height: 55 cm ball5’4″ to 5’11” height: 65 cm ball5’11” to 6′ 7″ height: 75 cm ball

An exercise ball, when size properly, makes for an active chair when sitting at a desk. You should be able to sit with your knees at a right angle and your thighs parallel to the ground. Aside from keeping your core engaged, replacing your seat with a ball will help your posture. Celeb trainer David Kirsch endorses the switch! If you still need convincing, here are more reasons to swap your chair for a ball.

Strength Training

You can also use the ball, to replace a weight bench for exercises like pec flies or some triceps-toning skull crushers. Simply lie with the ball supporting your upper back and head, and work your arms while stabilizing your unsupported core with your abs, glutes, and legs. Using the ball as a bench replacement, transforms these upper-body moves into full-body exercises. Here’s step-by-step instructions to work the back of your arms lying on the ball.

The exercises you can do with one of these stability balls is practically endless. We have created a full-body ball workout. So grab your stability ball and try moves like hamstring curls to tone your backside and planks on the ball, which will tone just about everything. You can also use the ball as a tool to focus on a certain muscle groups, like the abs. Watch this video of five ab exercises you can do using a ball, including tips on how to take sit-ups on the ball to the next level.

Yoga and Stretching

An exercise ball can work as a yoga prop to deepen stretches or support your body in difficult poses. A ball is the perfect prop to help you master tricky yoga poses like the advanced arm balance Scorpion. If you are working on this variation of forearm stand learn how to use the ball with this video. If stretching is more your scene, lengthen the front of your body by reclining with your back on the ball. This stretch is great after a long bike ride or a long day hunched over your computer.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Get More Out of Your Workouts With an Exercise Ball

Physio ball| exercise ball| stability ball| fitness ball ¡ª whatever you call it| we think a ball is must have for just about everyone. A stability ball can be used in the office and the gym ¡ª with a ball| basic exercises like sit-ups or push-ups become much more challenging and effective. If you’re new to this piece of fitness equipment| here are some details you should know.

Sizing and Sitting

You need to buy the correct size ball for your height. The diameter of the ball makes all the difference ¡ª?size does matter. If you are close to the cut off point between sizes| try testing out both sizes and see which works best for you. Here are basic guidelines to follow:

4’11” to 5’4″ height: 55 cm ball5’4″ to 5’11” height: 65 cm ball5’11” to 6′ 7″ height: 75 cm ball

An exercise ball| when size properly| makes for an active chair when sitting at a desk. You should be able to sit with your knees at a right angle and your thighs parallel to the ground. Aside from keeping your core engaged| replacing your seat with a ball will help your posture. Celeb trainer David Kirsch endorses the switch! If you still need convincing| here are more reasons to swap your chair for a ball.

Strength Training

You can also use the ball| to replace a weight bench for exercises like pec flies or some triceps-toning skull crushers. Simply lie with the ball supporting your upper back and head| and work your arms while stabilizing your unsupported core with your abs| glutes| and legs. Using the ball as a bench replacement| transforms these upper-body moves into full-body exercises. Here’s step-by-step instructions to work the back of your arms lying on the ball.

The exercises you can do with one of these stability balls is practically endless. We have created a full-body ball workout. So grab your stability ball and try moves like hamstring curls to tone your backside and planks on the ball| which will tone just about everything. You can also use the ball as a tool to focus on a certain muscle groups| like the abs. Watch this video of five ab exercises you can do using a ball| including tips on how to take sit-ups on the ball to the next level.

Yoga and Stretching

An exercise ball can work as a yoga prop to deepen stretches or support your body in difficult poses. A ball is the perfect prop to help you master tricky yoga poses like the advanced arm balance Scorpion. If you are working on this variation of forearm stand learn how to use the ball with this video. If stretching is more your scene| lengthen the front of your body by reclining with your back on the ball. This stretch is great after a long bike ride or a long day hunched over your computer.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios