Exercise ball exercises can be a great way to work on your abs. Instead of just doing crunches and situps, you can build core strength with a piece of gym equipment that is both cheap and fun to use.
Exercise Ball Exercises
As well as helping to flatten your stomach, working out with an exercise ball improves balance and works a lot of muscles in the back and legs that you might not normally be aware of. Pretty much everything has to work when you are balancing on one of these big plastic balls filled with air!
Here are some of the best exercise ball exercises for abs.
Circling On The Ball
This is a good warm up exercise or for those who are new to the ball. It will improve hip flexibility as well as stretching the abdominal muscles.
Sit on the ball with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands on the ball for balance. Roll your hips around in a circular motion, 10 times in one direction and then 10 times in the other. Make it harder by having your hands up behind your head.
Still sitting on the ball as in the previous exercise ball exercises, raise your legs one after the other as if you were doing a fast march. Keep the abs tight throughout. Again, hands can be on the ball in the beginning, then behind your head as you become more confident.
Kneel on the floor with the ball close up in front of you. Put your hands on the ball, keeping arms straight. Keeping a flat stomach, roll the ball forward without moving your knees, so you go down onto the ball as it rolls away. Do not bend at the hips or arch the back. Keep the body in a straight line from knees to shoulders, the whole thing tilting forward.
Stop when your elbows are on the ball and forearms make a straight line. Then, pushing the elbows into the ball, tighten the abs and glutes and roll the ball back to bring you back up to your starting position. Do 3-5 reps.
In the beginning it may be a good idea to have the ball not far from a wall for this exercise. That way, it cannot roll too far and drop you on the floor. Experiment with the right distance until you become confident enough to control the ball away from the wall.
This version of the classic abdominal crunch works the abs harder than the standard floor version. Here, the legs cannot do so much of the work.
Lie against the upper side of the ball with the lower back supported by the ball. The knees are bent and body is leaning against the ball at an angle of about 45 degrees to the floor. Cross the hands over the chest, tighten the abs and curl up without letting the ball roll. You can do 1-5 sets of 10 reps.
Warning Before Starting Exercise Ball Exercises
Of course, you should check with a doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you have a medical history of back problems or other conditions that could be aggravated by exercise ball exercises.