By Monika Tarkowska-Carter, CPT, LWMC, HLC 2
These two videos show different variations on exercises for abdominals using the stability ball. In Part 1 I talk about the simpler exercises that most people know, adding slight variations to make them more challenging. Part 2 consists mostly of more advanced exercises. The ball is used here to challenge balance and core stabilization to a higher degree.
Make sure to do at least a 5-10 minute warm-up before beginning any exercises.
Do the level of exercises that fits your ability. Perform them slowly and correctly, through the full range of motion if you can. Make sure your abdominals are contracted at the very beginning and at the end of the movement. Your lower back should never be sinking down or be overarched. Your butt shouldn’t stick up into the air, unless you have back problems, in which case to protect it, you might want to lift your butt a little bit higher than the straight line.
Start with 1-2 sets of 12 and build up to 15-20 repetitions and up to 3 sets OR do 1 set of different exercises to work the abdominal muscle fibers in many different angles and positions. No matter how effective the exercise or how much you like it, it’s always good to vary your routine. Your muscles get used to the same movement and are not pushed enough if you are doing the same exercise over and over. That’s when you experience plateaus. You will see results faster this way and the routine will be less boring.
Some of these exercises don’t look as hard as they actually are. If performed slowly and correctly you will see how your whole body will feel the burn. You are using a lot of muscles to stabilize the holding positions as well as other muscles to help you with the movement itself. In Part 2, you will particularly feel your shoulders, scapular stabilizers, triceps, lower back, glutes, legs, inner thigh muscles, and of course all the abdominal muscles.
You may want to have a spotter for some of the more advanced exercises, especially at the beginning, until you get used to them, and are sure you are doing them correctly. It is sometimes good to have someone else’s feedback because it’s hard to see your form in some of these advanced moves.
Please, always consult a physician before starting any exercise program.