Workin’ It with A Stability Ball

Hey there! How’s your week going?

I’ve been having a fun week in my kitchen! Coming Friday I’m hoping to have a yummy new recipe to share!

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We haven’t talked too much before about home fitness equipment. While most of you know that I exclusively workout at home, because I literally have no gym within 7 hours of my house, I have not talked much about some of my favorite home workout stuff.

Today I wanted to chat a little about the stability ball; aka Swiss ball, physio-ball, balance ball, etc. There are lots of names for this multi-purpose piece of gym equipment.

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Basically it is a large plastic ball that you can purchase at any sporting goods store, or even Target or Wal-Mart in the fitness section. Stability balls most commonly come in 3 different sizes, which are based on your height.

55cm (for the shorties…basically short to about 5’3″)

65cm (for average height 5’4″ to 5’9″)

75cm(for the tallest among us 5’10” and taller)

Your stability ball will come with a pump and instructions, and possibly even a few workout moves to try with it.

When it comes to working out with a stability ball I love it because:

 1. It Increases Core Strength
You can literally do exercises for each muscle group of your body using a stability ball, and because it is rounded, doing basic resistance moves with it forces you to engage more of your core and body stabilizing muscles than you normally would using a workout bench or other apparatus.

2. You can get a tough workout w/out heavy weights
With using the stability ball you can get a full body workout that is intense without needing heavy weights. Try the workout I’ve included for you at the end of this post; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 3. There are TONS of exercises you can do
I won’t go into great detail here, but there are SO many different exercises you can do utilizing the stability ball.

Here are 5 of my absolutely favorites:

 1. Ball Pikes – Hands on the floor, ankles on the ball, with your body in plank position. Using your core roll up into a pike position, then back out to plank.

 2. Hamstring/Glute Curls – Lying on your back with your feet on the ball push your booty up off the floor and using your hamstrings and glutes curl the ball inwards, then slowly back out to the start.

3. One Leg Wall Squats – Placing the stability ball between your back and the wall lift one leg out in front of you a bit lower than hip height. Squat down on the leg which is holding all the weight until your thigh is parallel to the ground, push back up to the start. Repeat on the other leg.

 4. Push-ups -Hands on the floor, legs on the ball, with your body in plank position. Do any type of pushup you please, standard, wide (hands wider than shoulder with) tricep pushups, diamond, whatever your feeling that day. The further back the ball is towards your feet the harder the pushup will be.

*For a challenge: Try these with the “pikes”; pushup, pike up, pushup, pike up…etc…killer.

 5. Weighted oblique ups – Place your feet against a wall, left in front of right with your left hip resting on the stability ball. Hold the weight to your chest with arms crossed. Lean your left shoulder down over the ball and then using your obliques lift up until your obliques are engaged fully. Lower and repeat. Once your set is done repeat on the other side.

Ah…it was hard to pick just 5 favorites. That’s why I created a simple Stability Ball Workout for you guys to try at home!

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This workout incorporates some of those and a few other exercises, and will be sure to add a fresh feeling to your workout routine. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Plie squat touch & jump (15) –  Holding the stab ball in front of your chest with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes turned out; squat down and touch the ball to the floor, and jump up lifting the ball above your head.

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Ball Pushups w/or without Pike (10) – Hands on the floor and legs on the ball with your body in the plank position. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder with apart and do a pushup. Then immediately roll the ball inward keeping you legs straight and shooting your booty up into a pike position. Then come back down and repeat. Pushup, pike, pushup, pike, etc.
*Beginners – try these without the pike.

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<Hamstring curls (15) –  Lying on your back with your feet on the ball push your booty up off the floor and using your hamstrings and glutes curl the ball inwards, then slowly back out to the start.
*Advanced: Try these one leg at a time. Burn that bootay!

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Ball Passes (15) – Lying on your back on the floor hold the ball above your body with your hands and bring your feet into the air to touch the ball. Then extend your body by dropping your arms down by your ears and your legs down to a few inches from the floor. Using your core bring them back up and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Lower, come up and pass the ball. Each up and down is one rep.
*Beginners: Lower your legs and arms down ONLY until you feel your back starting to arch off the floor, then bring them back up.

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Lateral Lunge w/hold (10 each side) –  With one foot on the ground and the other on the ball roll the ball out until that leg is straight and drop into a lateral lunge with your thigh parallel to the floor. Be careful to make sure you knee doesn’t come out over your toes. Then come back to start. Repeat 10 times, and on the 10th lunge hold the lateral lunge position for a slow 7-10 count. Switch legs.

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Weighted ball crunches (15) -With a light dumbbell held to your chest, feet flat on the floor and lower back on the stability ball, crunch all the way up to a sitting position, and then slowly lower.
*Beginners: Try this without the weight.

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*Compete this workout “circuit style” one exercise after the other with no rest. Once you have complete one round rest 30 seconds and repeat twice more.

There’s a new workout for you to try! Let me know if you do, I’d love to hear how it went for ya. It’s a quickie so it would be a great one to try on a busy day. 🙂

Also, stability balls make excellent desk chairs and are great for your core as they are more unstable than a regular chair and unknowingly you are using your core throughout the day as you work. Just be careful not to roll off while on a conference call or something. 🙂

Have you ever used a stability ball before? What is your favorite exercise on the stability ball?

Own it!

~ Liesl

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