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Advanced Ball Workout

If you've been working out with an exercise ball for awhile, you may be ready to try something new and challenging, such as the following moves which target the  abs, back, legs and upper body.  This is a great alternative to traditional ab work or you can add these exercises onto your other strength training workouts to add intensity.  Make sure you're very comfortable on the ball before trying these moves and use the modifications given as needed.  

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any injuries, illnesses or medical conditions. This is an advanced workout, so be careful!

How To

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio
  • Many of these moves very advanced and require balance and strength, so take your time and have patience
  • Go slowly and stay in control at all times.  If you feel shaky, try a modification
  • Add these moves onto your usual strength workouts or try this workout on its own for core strength
Lying Leg Extension on the Ball
One leg extension on ball
  One leg ball extension
Get in a bridge position on the ball with head and neck supported.  Put the weight in your right foot as you extend the left leg.  Lower and repeat on the other leg for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps on each leg.  Make it easier:  Hold onto a wall or place fingertips on the floor for balance.

Ball Pass
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Lie down with the legs straight up place the ball between the feet, squeezing to keep the ball in place.  Lower the arms and legs down towards the floor. Bring them back up and take the ball in your hands, lowering the arms and legs down towards the floor again. Continue, exchanging the ball between the hands and feet for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps.  Make it easier:  Keep the knees bent and limit how far you lower the arms and legs.

Ball Squeeze & Lift
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Lie on right side with ball between feet/shins, squeezing it to hold it in place.  Squeeze the ball and contract the abs as you lift the bottom leg a few inches off the floor.  Lower and repeat before switching sides.  1-2 sets of 10-16 reps on each side.  Make it easier:  Try it without the ball.

Ball Pike & Shoulder Pushup
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Place feet on top of the ball and hands on the floor.  Lift your body up into a pike position with your hands directly under your shoulders and the top of your head facing the floor.  Bend the elbows and lower into a pushup.  Push back up and repeat.  This move takes a lot of strength and balance, so be careful!  1-2 sets of 10-16 reps.  Make it easier:  Don't lower down as far or prop the ball against the wall for balance.

One-Legged Leg Press
 
Begin in an incline position on the ball, knees bent.  Straighten the left leg out in front of you and push through the heel of the  right foot to push up on the ball.  Lower and repeat for 1-2 sets of 10-16 reps on each side.  Make it easier:  Hold onto a wall or place fingertips on the floor for balance

Ball Circles
 
Place the forearms on the ball and lift the hips up so that you're resting on the forearms and toes, as in a plank.  Get your balance and slowly roll the ball in a small circle towards the right for 8-10 reps, then to the left for 8-10 reps.  Keep the circles small to stay in control of the ball.  Make it easier:  Keep the knees on the floor.

Tick Tocks  
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Lie down and take the legs straight up with ball squeezed between the feet or shins.  Engage the abs and slowly lower the legs down to the left while keeping your shoulders on the floor.  Bring the legs back to center and drop them towards the right, repeating for 1-2 sets of 10-16 reps on each side.  Do not let the back arch.  Make it easier:  Limit how far you lower the legs to each side.

Ab Roll
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On your knees, place your hands on the ball and engage the abs as you roll forward, rolling the ball out as far as you can without arching or straining the back (keep your chest off the ball).  Push the elbows into the ball and squeeze the abs to pull the body back to start.  Avoid this move if you have back problems.  1-2 sets of 10-16  reps.  Make it easier:  Keep the hands further out on the ball and limit how far you roll out.

Ball Twist
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Get into a pushup position with the feet are hugging either side of the ball.  Hold body in a straight line and twist the ball slightly to the right while trying to keep your shoulders level, then to the left.  Don't sag in the middle.  1-2 sets of 10-16  reps to each side.  Make it easier:  Just hold a plank position or limit how far you twist to each side.

Ball Plank with Leg Lift

Get into plank position with the feet resting on the ball, hands under shoulders and abs contracted.  Lift the right leg off the ball a few inches and lower and repeat on the other leg.  Continue alternating legs for 1-2 sets of 10-16 reps on each side.  Make it easier:  Prop the ball against the wall for balance.

Plank Press
 
Kneel in front of the ball with forearms on the ball.  Keep the back straight as you press the toes into the floor and push the body into a plank position.  Lower and repeat for 1-2 sets of 10-16  reps.  Make it easier:  Prop the ball against the wall for balance.

Ball Dips

Sit on the ball with hands next to the hips.  Press the hips up and in front of the ball slightly, find your balance and bent the elbows as you lower into a tricep dip.  Press into the ball to push back up for 1-2 sets of 10-16  reps.  Make it easier:  Prop the ball against the wall for balance.

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