Despite the not-so-new look of my stability ball, I really do love it. Last year I stored it in the corner of the living room and somehow, over time, it must have stuck to the wall because now chunks of paint are stuck on it. CUUUUUTE. But as I always say (read: never say), don’t fix something that isn’t broken. Paint or no paint, it gets the job done, “the job” being that it makes my abs sore!
Stability ball crunches are more effective than regular crunches because the ball forces you to engage all of your core muscles, rather than just your upper core. They are my absolute favorite which is why I included them in this workout, but there are several other ab exercises that can (and should!) be done with a stability ball.
This workout can be done anywhere, assuming you own a stability ball. If not, most gyms should have at least one. Prepare yourself for an ab (specifically an oblique) burn! Note: **When doing the oblique crunches, be sure to do 45 seconds on EACH SIDE**
Crunches: Get into a “crunch” position on the stability ball with the middle of your back against the ball. Place both hands behind your head and, using your abs, pull up to do a crunch. Remember to use your abs, not your arms, to pull you up! TIP: Keep your elbows out to the side rather than facing upward.
Jackknife: Place both hands on the ground and the stability ball under your shins. Using your lower abs, bend your knees and bring them towards your chin and then return them back to the starting position. Be sure to keep your hands in the same place the entire time.
Back extensions: Place your feet against a wall (or a tree) and the stability ball on your stomach, both hands behind your head. Keeping your gaze down and your elbows out to the side, lift up a few inches off the stability ball. Think of it as doing a sit up but for your back instead of your stomach. Your core is made up of a lot more than just your abs, so a strong back is important too!
Oblique crunches: Place your feet against that same wall (or tree) and the stability ball underneath left side. Place your left hand gently on the floor and your right hand behind your head. Crunch up, bringing your right elbow toward the wall. After you complete the right side turn around and do the same thing on the left side.
V-ups: Lie down on the ground with your arms overhead and the stability ball in your hands. Slowly bring your arms and legs up at the same time to form a “V”, and transfer the ball from your hands to your feet and then lower down to the ground (but make sure your feet stay at least one inch above the ground and do not touch). Using your lower ab muscles, bring your legs up to meet your arms. Transfer the ball back and forth in that manner
Standing side bend: Stand straight up with the stability ball overhead. Keeping your arms slightly bent, slowly bend over to the left side, back to the middle and then to the right side.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of these moves! Xoxo
Q: What’s your favorite ab workout? What’s your usual Starbucks drink order?