An exercise ball, aka Swiss ball or Pilates ball, is one of the best pieces of equipment to base an ab workout on. Not only are they are cheap and easy to store, but they also get you great results. We’re talking chiselled; wash your clothes on your stomach type results.
The benefits don’t stop there either – compared to other abdominal workouts you might have to do on the floor, an exercise ball ab workout gets you up off the floor, gives you a much bigger range of motion and takes a lot of the strain off you neck and back.
Lets take a look at the top 4 exercises to include in your exercise ball ab workout so you can start carving out those abs.
Exercises Ball Moves You Need in Your Ab Workout
Exercise Ball Ab Crunch
It’s always good to start with a tried and true classic. This is one of the most effective ways to perform a crunch as being up off the ground takes the stress out of your back and allows the crunch movement to be far more efficient and focused on your abs. Where it should be.
- 1. Have your lower back on the top of the exercise ball and put your hands behind your head/ears for mild support (make sure you are not pulling your head up with your hands).
- 2. Extend down backwards slowly to 180 degrees or beyond.
- 3. Tensing your abs, come back up in a deliberate powerful motion and hold at the top for 1-2 seconds.
- 4. Complete 3 sets of as many reps as it takes to make your abs burn.
Tip: If you are able to perform more than 20 reps before any real burn, try holding a dumbbell or medicine ball to increase difficulty.
Bonus Tip: A great variation to this exercise is twisting your torso left or right as you crunch up. This will shift focus to your obliques. Keep the ball under your centre of gravity to prevent rolling off. That would be embarrassing.
Exercise Ball Jackknife
Cool name, cool exercise. The exercise ball jackknife is great for working your lower abs.
- 1. Start with your feet up on the ball in a position as if you were going to perform a standard push-up.
- 2. Keeping your lower back as straight as possible, slowly move the ball and your knees up into your chest using your lower abs. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- 3. Slowly push the ball back out by straightening your legs.
Exercise Ball Rollout
One of the more challenging ab workouts and if you don’t already have some base strength, you are going to struggle with this one. We just layed down the gauntlet for you.
- 1. Start by sitting on your knees with your forearms and fists in front of you up on the exercise ball.
- 2. Tensing your abs, roll the ball out on your arms until you are at full stretch. Hold for 1 second.
- 3. Contract your abs and bring the ball back into you
Tip: To make these easier, let some air out of the ball. To make it harder, put it back in and then some. Make sure you don’t blow it up though.
Exercise Ball Pike
Upper abs, lower abs, and obliques – this one works them all. Difficulty level is a bit higher so you may want to practice in private first. If you don’t care, rock on.
- 1. Assume the standard push-up position with your feet up on the ball
- 2. While tensing your abs and legs to keep yourself stable, pull your feet in towards your chest until your hips are close to being inline with your shoulders – you should look like a V to those watching and cheering you on.
- 3. Keeping your back and hips ‘strong’ (don’t let them sag or flop) return to the starting position.
Tip: The exercise ball needs to be pretty well inflated for this one to work well. If its not, your feet will push right into it and it makes it less effective and weird.
Got Abs? You Soon Will.
As far as exercise ball ab workouts go, these four exercises make up a pretty awesome one. If you were to add this quadruple combo to the start or end of you regular weights session 3-4 times per week, you will see some real results and pretty fast.
Not only will you carve out the stomach of a Greek god, but having the core strength that this workout will deliver, will make you that much better at your other mass building exercises. Sold.