10 Fun Moves to Reshape Your Body With an Exercise Ball Workout
No. 1: Squats With an Exercise Ball
- Stand with the exercise ball propped between your lower (lumbar) spine and a wall, pressing slightly into the ball. With hands at your sides or on hips, check that your feet are hip-width apart and slightly in front of you.
- Bending at your knees and hips, slowly move into a sitting position with your knees over your ankles. Keep the ball in contact with your back as you move.
- Return to standing position, keeping the ball in contact with your back as you move.
Repeat 8-15 times.
Challenge: Lift one foot 1 or 2 inches off the floor and try doing the exercise with one leg at a time. Switch and repeat with the other leg.
No. 2: Birddogs With an Exercise Ball
- Get on your hands and knees with the exercise ball under your abdomen.
- Lift and extend your opposite arm and leg off the floor at the same time.
- Reach away from the center of your body while balancing on the ball and keeping your hips stable.
Repeat 8 times on each side.
Challenge: Hold the position longer.
No. 3: Supine Bridges With an Exercise Ball
- Sit on the exercise ball with your hands on your hips or crossed on your chest.
- Walk forward, gradually rolling the ball out until it supports your head and shoulders, instead of your buttocks. As you roll out, be sure to keep your weight on top of the ball.
- Form a flat "tabletop" with your hips, shoulders, and knees aligned -- and your feet flat on the floor, directly under your knees.
- Without moving the ball, lower and lift your hips, tightening muscles in your buttocks and backs of your thighs.
- Repeat 8-15 times.
Challenge: Lie on your back with the ball under your feet and your arms on the floor, palms down. Gradually lift your back off the floor, then return to the floor with control.
Advanced challenge: Repeat the challenge, but with your arms off the floor.
No. 4: Push-ups With an Exercise Ball
- Lie face down with the exercise ball underneath your belly and your palms flat on the floor.
- Use your hands to walk out to a plank position, resting the ball anywhere from your hips to your ankles. (This should be a position that provides for a challenging push-up, but allows your spine to stay aligned - with ears, shoulders, and hips in a line.)
- Bend your elbows to lower your upper body toward the floor, keeping your shoulders away from your ears and your abdominal muscles engaged.
- Repeat 8-10 times.
Challenge: Move the ball closer to your ankles.
Advanced challenge: Perform the push-ups with your hands on the ball and toes on the floor.