Abdominal Exercises with an Exercise Ball (Stability Ball)

by : Charles Inniss

The Exercise Ball has become one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment in the fitness industry.

It has many names. Some people refer to it as a Stability Ball, Swiss Ball, or Physioball.

There are 3 main reasons people perform abdominal exercises on an exercise ball.

When doing abdominal exercises on the ball.
#1 Your abs work harder.
#2 There is more Range of Motion.
#3 There are greater improvements in your balance, coordination, and stability.

In studies comparing floor crunches to ball crunches, researchers found that the abdominal muscles worked harder during crunches on the ball. Some of this is due to the increased range of motion through the spine when you perform crunches on an exercise ball.

When you are lying on the floor, your spine flattens out slightly and this decreases the range of motion of the exercise. However, when you perform abdominal crunches on a ball, your hips are extended and your back is slightly extended which leads to greater range of motion and increased muscle work.

Lastly, because the ball is less stable than the floor, your abdominal muscles must also work to keep you balanced.

There are additional benefits to exercising on a ball. Some people find that ab crunches on the exercise ball are more comfortable than other crunch positions, like the floor. And, some people think it is more fun and mentally stimulating, which helps to combat exercise boredom and burn out.

It may seem intimidating at first, but it is not that difficult to master. I generally begin by teaching my personal training clients the basics, such as the drawing-in maneuver, floor crunches, and the floor plank. But as soon as they master those ab exercises,
I teach them abdominal exercises on the ball.

Some of my favorite abdominal exercises with a stability ball are regular crunches, alternating oblique crunches, stability ball roll-ins, and side crunches on the stability ball.

I truly think the exercise ball is one of the best pieces of ab exercise equipment. And if you had to buy one tool to effectively work your abdominal muscles I would recommend an exercise ball.

I think buying a ball is a better investment than buying an as seen on tv ab machines. Many of the as seen on tv products over promise and under deliver, and they are all one dimensional.

An exercise ball is a versatile and inexpensive piece of equipment, and it is a tool I use often with my personal training clients.

If you have never used an exercise ball, there is no time like the present to learn something new!