Let Stability Ball Ab Exercises Give You The Edge.



Stability ball ab exercises are a great inclusion to anyone's ab workout for a number of reasons. The fact that this piece of equipment is so cheap to purchase and enables you to do a variety of specific core exercises in the comfort of your own home is a major plus. However, more important than this is that you can target the upper, middle and lower abs and the obliques in a way that is not possible with any other form of exercise.

A brief history.

The stability or Swiss ball was invented by an Italian plastics manufacturer named Aquilino Casani in the 1960s and used for treatments involving newborns. Later a Swiss Doctor named Susan Klein-Vogelbach began using the ball in orthopedic medicine but it was not until Joanne-Posner-Mayer began promoting the ball that the fitness industry began to realise the unique potential stability ball ab exercises offer. Since then its popularity has soured to such an extent that it is now considered a vital piece of equipment by personal trainers and is also used by sports coaches as well as pilates and yoga teachers.

The right ball for you.

The stability ball comes in all shapes and sizes but it is important to select the right sized ball for your stability ball ab exercises.The latest models have the size of the ball on the box as well as the height and weight of the people it is suitable for. However, if you are unsure about which ball is right for you, a simple guide to the one you should use is to ensure that when sitting on the ball your thighs are parallel to the floor.

How and why stability ball ab exercises work.

The Swiss ball works because of one simple principal and that is the necessity to maintain balance while the body is placed in an unstable position. Because of this unique characteristic the core muscles are forced to contract just to ensure you can stay on the ball.This simple but effective reaction means that that you can use a variety of exercise positions with each one requiring specific core muscles to contract extremely hard just so that you can execute the movement. The result is that your core muscles will have to work in a way that is different from any other piece of equipment found in the gym and the benefits include strengthening you core muscles, improving your balance, posture and nervous system activation.

Stability ball ab exercises.

Swiss Ball Crunch.

Position yourself so that your lower back is in contact with the exercise ball and your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and then breathe out and contract your abs as you slowly curl up as far as you can. Pause at the top for a second and then breathe in as you lower yourself back down to the starting position. Try to keep the abs engaged throughout the exercise.

Muscles worked - middle and upper abs.

Comments - A fairly basic but reasonably effective stomach exercise that is not as demanding as our advanced ones but a lot better than doing floor crunches.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 5 out of 10

Elevated Ball Crunch.

Lie on your back with your feet on the centre of the stability ball and your thighs parallel to the floor. From there breathe out and contract the stomach muscles as you curl up as far as is possible. Pause at the top and then breathe in as you lower back down.Try to keep the abs engaged throughout the exercise.

Muscles worked - middle and upper abs.

Comments - Again a basic but reasonably effective exercise. The instability of having your feet on the ball means that your abs need to contract hard which makes this a better exercise than lying on the floor and elevating your feet on a bench.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 5 out of 10

Swiss Ball sit up.

Lie with your lower back in contact with the ball. Place your hands behind your head and then breathe out as you sit all the way up. Pause at the top and then breathe in as you return to the starting position. Try to keep your abs engaged throughout the exercise.

Muscles worked - middle and upper abs.

Comments - Not a great exercise but better than doing sit ups on the floor.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 4 out of 10

Swiss Ball side crunch.

Lie sideways on the ball with your feet shoulder width apart on the floor. Have your arms folded across your chest and from there breathe out as you raise your body up as far as you can. Pause at the top and then breathe in as you slowly return to the starting position. Because this works only one side at a time you have to repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Muscles worked - obliques (side abs)

Comments - one of the very best oblique stability ball ab exercises and is highly recommended.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 9 out of 10

Swiss Ball Jack knife.

Assume the press up position but with your feet on the centre of the ball. From there breathe in as you pull the ball towards your body with your feet until your thighs are at 90 degrees to the floor. Pause and then breathe out as you push the ball back to the starting position.

Muscles worked - lower abs

Comments - This is a bit tricky to get the hang of but once you do it is a good lower ab exercise.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 6 out of 10

Bent knee Bridge.

Lie on your back with your calf's on the exercise ball and your arms on the floor in the crucifix position. From there breathe out as you push your hips up towards the ceiling until you buttocks and back are in alignment. Pause and the breathe in as you return to the starting position.

Muscles worked - Lower abs and lower back.

Comments - A good exercise for core stability because it works both the lower ab and back muscles.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 6 out of 10

Core Crunches.

Kneel down and lean forward to place your elbows on the ball. From there breathe out as you roll the ball forward until your torso and legs form a straight line. Pause and then breathe in as you return to the starting position.

Muscles worked - Lower, middle and upper abs.

Comments - This is a similar exercise to the plank and is equally effective. So it is therefore one of the best stability ball ab exercises.

hardcoreabexercises rating - 7 out of 10

Swiss ball plank

Place your feet on the Swiss ball and assume a press up position making sure you pull your naval in towards your spine and keep your spine in straight alignment at all times. Remember to breathe as you hold the position for as long as possible.

Muscles worked - middle and upper abs

Comments - one of the best ab exercises you can do

hardcoreabexercises rating 9 out of 10

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