Developing your Abs and Obliques with an Exercise Ball

Develop Your Abs & Obliques With An Exercise BallIncorporating an exercise ball into your core training regimen will significantly develop your strength and coordination while also adding a little variety and fun to your workouts. An exercise ball, which perhaps you know better as a swiss ball, physioball or balance ball, adds an element of instability to your exercises. Instead of performing movements on the floor, which is stable, they’re performed on a ball, which will roll away unless your surrounding muscles contribute. Your hips, abdominals, obliques and lower back must work together to keep your balance on the ball.

Exercise balls vary on size, so before you jump into exercise ball training, be sure you’re using the right one for you. If you sit on a ball with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Utilize the following abdominal and oblique exercises into your workouts. They can also be performed all together in one core training session. Perform 15 repetitions of each exercise.

Abdominal Exercise Ball Workouts

Crunches

Sit on the exercise ball and walk your feet down so that your lower back rounds around the ball. Your knees should be bent to 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Extend your back to round your back around the ball, your head dropping slightly towards the floor. Crunch up from the abdominals, lifting up your shoulders blades off the ball, and then return back to starting position.

Ball Pass

Lie on your back on a mat with your legs extended and arms extended over and behind your head. Hold an exercise ball between your hands. Crunch up and simultaneously lift your legs so that your limbs meet at the center line of your body. Pass the ball from your hands to your legs, squeezing the ball between your feet. Lower back down so that your limbs return to the floor and then crunch back up, this time passing the ball from your legs to your hands.

Knee Tuck

Lie face down on the ball and then walk your hands out in front of you so that the ball rolls down your torso. Continue until the ball is resting against your shins. Hold your body in a straight line as if you were going to perform pushups. Bring your knees towards your chest, rolling the ball underneath your body, and then extend your legs to roll the ball back to starting position.

Obliques Exercise Ball Workouts

Romanian Twist

Sit on the exercise ball and then walk your feet out until the ball rests directly under your shoulder blades. Keep your hips up, preventing them from slouching towards the floor. Bring your hands together and extend your arms out in front so that they’re pointed to the ceiling. Keep your feet firmly on the floor as you twist your torso to your left, picking up your right shoulder so that you end up with just your left shoulder on the ball and with your arms parallel to the floor and your hands pointed out to your side. Twist back to center and then repeat, this time twisting to the right.

Leans

Return to the same position that you utilized for Romanian Twist, with your shoulder blades on top of the ball. Instead of your arms together and pointed towards the ceiling, hold them out to your sides so that they’re parallel with the floor. Keep your feet firmly on the floor as you lean to your right, sliding your right shoulder off the ball as your keep your shoulders square to the ceiling. Return so that both shoulder blades are on the ball and then lean to your left.

Oblique Crunch

Lie on your side on an exercise ball with your legs staggered, one foot in front of the other, for balance. The ball should rest directly underneath your hips. Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Keep your torso square to the side and crunch up towards the ceiling. Lower back down and repeat until all assigned repetitions are complete. Remember to switch sides.

About The Author

Kim Nunley - Article AuthorKim Nunley has worked in the health and fitness field for over 10 years. She received her Master’s of Science Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She has been a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, physical education instructor and athletic coach, and now works as a freelance writer. She also writes short and feature-length screenplays.

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