Exercise Ball Workout
Learn the best fitness ball exercises
If you notice yourself getting a little bored with your current strength training workout, it may be time to hop on (literally) the latest exercise trend – an exercise ball workout. Exercise ball exercises (also known as fitness ball exercises) can be customized to work nearly all your muscle groups, adding both variety and intensity to your routine.
Types of Exercise Balls
Exercise balls come in different sizes and types to help you perform different exercises. These balls can have a diameter as large as two feet or more or as small as just a few inches. In general, these are the different types of exercise balls available:
- Stability balls. Stability balls are the large, rubber, nearly indestructible balls you see in gyms for performing many ab exercises or even at the office for improved posture. They're available in a range of sizes for a variety of body types.
- Bosu balls. Bosu balls are fitness balls that are essentially cut in half and have a flat surface attached to the top for you to stand on. They're used to add instability to your workout, making you engage more muscles in order to stay balanced.
- Weighted fitness balls. Weighted fitness balls (also known as medicine balls) are used to add extra weight to ordinary exercises and are great for use with gym buddies for a group workout.
Incorporating Workout Ball Exercises into your Workout Routine
You can change up and increase the difficulty of a number of exercises with an exercise ball. To start, try these exercise ball routines:
- Abs ball exercises. As an exercise ball ab workout, try ordinary sit-ups while sitting on a stability ball, or work your obliques by placing your feet against the wall and lying sideways with the ball roughly under your hip. Work your lower abs by placing the ball between your ankles and raising and lowering your legs.
- Leg ball exercises. You can work your hamstring muscles by lying on your back on a mat and placing your legs up on the stability ball. Lift your lower body off the ground and use your hamstrings to curl the ball closer to you, then push it out again. This exercise is also great for your abs. Or, balance on a Bosu ball and do squats and lunges.
- Pilates ball exercises. If you take a Pilates class, adding a ball into your workout can help you take your training to the next level. Performing traditional Pilates exercises on the ball forces you to engage your core muscles for stability and balance.