The stability ball is one versatile piece of exercise equipment. It can be used for so many different exercises that you can get a full body workout using just the stability ball. You might think this equipment is only for ab exercises like planks, but there’s so much more you can do with it, working both your upper and lower body.
I’m going to show you a number of exercises you can do, and you can mix and match them, creating your own stability ball full body workout.
Let’s start with a basic exercise that pretty much everyone knows how to do and that the stability ball is very good for. Incline pushups are a great way to diversify your workout routine and do something different from a typical pushup. There are two different ways you can do an incline pushup using the exercise ball.
The first one is to place your forearms on the floor and prop up your lower legs on the workout ball. You can then push yourself up with either your forearms or palms from the floor to fully extend your arms and then go back down again. This would be one more push up. The elevation that the stability ball provides adds an extra challenge, placing more force of gravity on your upper body and helping you to get better results and faster muscle development there.
The other kind of inclined pushup you can do with this stability ball is to place your forearms or palms on a higher surface, like a chair, bench, or couch. Your lower body can be resting on the stability ball, and you will be using your lower legs to keep your balance. This is a much more difficult and challenging push up, and it requires a lot of balance for you. It’s a great way to improve your posture, flexibility, stability, and whole body strength. If you want to give more of a workout for your entire body using the stability ball, this is a good way to do it. It turns the average pushup into part of a full body workout routine with stability ball.
While you’re in the incline pushup position, there’s another exercise you can do with the stability ball. The ball rocking exercise requires that you place the middle of your body on the exercise ball for support and your palms down on the ground. Because your midsection will be resting on the ball, your upper body will be well above the ground. Your shoulder should be at about the same height as your lower back for this exercise.
You should be able to extend your arms all the way out to the ground to provide support and to create the movement needed for this exercise. Powering yourself with your hands, roll your body from side to side, moving the stability ball with you. You’re not moving too far, as you don’t want the ball to roll out from under you.
We have worked the upper body enough for now; let’s move onto the lower body. This exercise will work your legs and the surrounding area of the body. Start by lying on your back and keep your legs out straight, with your heels propped up on the ball. Then, raise your hips upward and start bending your knees. As you do this, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings so that your legs curl the ball in towards your glute muscles. From there, return out to the starting position and extend your legs fully. You’ve just done one rep, and you can do a set of these and then do several sets.
This is a pretty low impact way to work your lower body, particularly your glutes and quadriceps. It’s a good exercise for someone who’s not sure about what kind of exercises they can handle and who needs something low intensity to start with.
Now, let’s work on flexibility and your core area of the body. For this exercise, you’ll start with your feet planted firmly on the floor and your knees flat. You can rest your back on the ball, and your buttocks should kind of hover, rather than resting on the floor. Finally, put your hands behind your head and hold them there during the entire exercise.
Then, squeeze together your glutes and push your hips upward to create the bridge position. From there, bend at your waist to bring your body back down to the starting position. Never allow your buttocks to touch the floor. You’ve done one rep, and you can do a set of about 15 of these, take a rest, and then do a few more sets.
I would recommend a midsection exercise like this as part of a full body workout women day 1 stability ball regimen. It’s a good way to work your entire body with one piece of equipment and not exert yourself too much at first. This is the kind of exercise that you can ramp up the intensity on when you’re ready for it or just take it nice and easy at first.
Stability Ball Lunge
You’ll find lunges in most modern exercise routines. They’re an excellent addition to a full body workout routine with stability ball hamstrings focus, working a lot of your leg building muscle there that will help you with any other exercises you do.
Start by standing on one leg and place the opposite leg on the top of the ball, resting your shin on the ball. You can place your hands in front of your body or put them on your hips to support your movement and keep yourself from toppling over.
From this position, bend your extended leg as you lower yourself into the lunge position. Try to lunge as deep as possible, and watch for the ball rolling back a little bit as you do it. After you go as deep as you can, return slowly to your standing position, and you’ve done a rep. You can do this exercise a little bit faster for a more intense workout or add dumbbells to it to work your upper body a little bit.
Rolling Lat Pull
Let’s finish off with one more exercise that uses the stability ball in a different way and makes good use of the ball’s ability to roll. You begin by kneeling down, preferably on a mat to make things easy on your knees. You should be resting on your lower legs and not quite touching your heels. Your toes and the top of your feet should be resting on the ground.
Extend your arms overhead and rest your hands on the ball, with your palms facing one another. Now, bring the ball toward you while keeping your arms as straight as possible. At the same time, raise your hips to bring your body up into a high knee stance. Then, reverse the movement all the way back down to get back to the starting position, and you’ve done a single rep.
There are tons more exercises you can do with the stability ball that work your body in different ways. It doesn’t all have to be about your abs, core, and doing a lot of planks. Hopefully, these exercises give you some ideas for new ways to use this stability ball.