Killer abs ball workout. A few days ago I gave up my secret killer ab workout for the foam roller and now, it’s time to do the same with the swiss/physio ball. This workout is guaranteed to make you feel a burn and has the added difficulty of a ball, which after a few minutes will feel as if it weighs a hundred pounds.
KILLER ABS BALL WORKOUT
Ball sit up with twist. This is your warm up and a chance to get used to working with a ball. Sitting upright on the ball, walk yourself forward so that your tailbone is resting on the ball and you are in a slight reclined position. Feet are flat on the floor, hip distance apart. Hands behind your head, curl your body back over the ball and exhale to roll back up to start. Repeat 15x. Part 2. You’ll start the exact same way, but add a twist as you sit up. Try to keep the ball as steady as possible. Repeat 10x on each side.
Reverse sit up. Lying on your back, legs stretched out in front of you, grasp the ball between your ankles without sickling your feet inward (make sure your toes are pointing forward). Inhale and on your exhale, slowly lift your legs toward the ceiling and gently curl your tailbone off the floor. Note. Do not bounce, do not jam your body, do not use your arms, do not use momentum. This is all about using your muscles and keeping the movements steady and controlled. If you find that you are using your arms, try reaching them overhead. Repeat 20x. Part 2. Add a twist at the top. On your final leg lift, keep your tailbone down and add a twist with your legs. Repeat 10x on each side.
Side crunch. This one can be a little tricky for balance, so if you are starting out brace your feet against the wall. Start lying sideways across the ball, fingertips touching behind your head. Keep your hips stacked (it will be tempting to let your top hip roll backward or forward) bend sideways and return to your start position. Do 25 on each side.
Jack knife/Pike. For this exercise you will be in a push up position with your hands on the floor and your feet on the ball. The easiest way to get into this position is to roll yourself across the ball and place your hands on the floor. Inhale and on your exhale, tuck your knees in toward your chest without letting your upper body pitch forward. Remember, you are trying to isolate the lower half of your body. Repeat 15x. Part 2 Pike. This move is similar to the last one but this time you are going to keep your legs straight. Lift your glutes straight up toward the ceiling and return to the start position. Hint. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears and do this move slowly so that you don’t fall over. Repeat 15x.
Push up/roll out. For this exercise you’ll start in a classic push up position with your hands on the ball. Do 15 push ups trying to keep the ball as steady as possible. If this bothers your wrists then simply hold a plank position (forearms on the ball) for 45 seconds. Part 2. Now comes the fun part. Starting in your push up position, stretch your arms away from you and pull the ball back in. Repeat 20x
Teaser. Lying on your back, arms reaching overhead, place your heels on the ball. Take an inhale and on your exhale roll your body up to an upright position. Take a breath, reach your arms by your ears, and roll back down. If you can’t quite make it up then simply start with your feet flat on the ball, knees bent and press the ball away from you as you roll up. Repeat 15x. Part 2. Starting on your back with your arms reaching overhead, hold the ball at a 90 degree angle off the floor with your ankles. Inhale and on your exhale, roll your body up to an upright position while stretching your legs out. Take a breath, reach your arms by your ears, and return to the start. Another option is to keep your knees bent the entire time. Part 3. Starting on your back with your arms reaching overhead and holding the ball with your legs straight out, take a breath and simultaneously curl your body into an upright position while lifting your legs off the floor so that you end up in a ‘V’ position. Take a breath at the top, reach your arms by your ears and carefully roll back down to your start position. Or to take it up a notch, keep your body steady while you lower and lift your legs a few inches 5x then lower back to start. Repeat 15x.
For all of these exercises it’s wise to do them slowly at first, so that you get the hang of them. Always make controlled movements and if you feel pain (no your abs don’t count) stop, reassess and try it again. Remember that the ball can be fickle and often has a mind of its own so be careful, especially when you are sitting on it. Above all, make sure that you are breathing and having fun!
Do you ever use a ball for your workouts? If you try this workout I’d love to know how it goes.
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