by Tracey Mallett
The exercise ball is one of the greatest exercise tools available. Not only does it work your core and total body with an array of exercises, but it can be used as a chair in your office to promote better posture. Depending on your height will depend on what size ball you will need to use. If you’re under 5 feet 5, the best size is 55 cm. For people taller than that, opt for the 65 cm. You can purchase them from any sporting goods store at a very reasonable price, so they’re definitely worth the investment in your body.
Working your abs on the ball will challenge them a little further. The instability of the ball forces you to recruit your abs more efficiently to stabilize yourself on the ball. The following exercises are two of my favorite abdominal workouts on the ball.
The first exercise, Forearm Plank on the ball, focuses on your transverse abdominals, your deepest abs muscles, that stabilize the spine and train your abs flat. The second exercise, Jab on the ball, works by rotating the torso focusing on the obliques (your waist) to achieve a toned, sleek core.
Perform these two exercises at least four times a week for best results!
Forearm Plank on the Ball
- Start with placing your forearms on the ball with your hands clasped together. Make sure your shoulders are straight, your elbows decreasing stress in the shoulders and neck. Knees are bent with your abs engaged.
- Exhale and slightly move your torso forwards in a diagonal position - as you move, the ball moves forwards a few inches. Next inhale and return back to the start position and repeat for 10-15 reps.
Keep pulling your shoulders away from your ears and only go as far forward as you can control without arching your lower back.
Jab on the Ball
- Start sitting on the ball in a c-curve with your lower-back resting on the ball. Your elbows are bent in front of your face
- Exhale and twist the torso to your right side and jab the left hand across the body to the right side then switch to the other side. Alternate sides for 20 reps and feel the waste burn.
Keep your spine in a c-curve to work deep into the abdominals and don’t forget to breathe and draw the abs towards the spine.