Advanced exercise ball workouts is written for those that have already completed our ball exercises for beginner and our ball workouts for intermediate users and you?re ready for another big challenge, here is our final page in this series. The exercise ball (also known as a stability, Swiss, fitness or Pilates ball) is a great way to kick your workouts up a notch.
Advanced exercise ball workouts generally build on the same theme as intermediate and beginner levels with new exercises to really challenge your core. It starts with basic abdominal exercises and proceeds into an advanced Pilates workout.
If you haven?t already done so, refer to our Exercise ball workout for some basic ideas about working out on an exercise ball.
You may want to perform a warm up before starting your advanced exercise ball workouts. A simple warm up? Try 20 minutes of walking outside or on the treadmill followed by some simple stretches.
? Basic Abdominal Curls
On a mat, lie on your back with the stability ball placed under your knees. Knees bent in a 90-degree angle and held together. Place hands behind your head with elbows wide.
Inhale stay, exhale and curl head and shoulders off the mat. Inhale to stay (with eyes on your thighs), exhale and return to the mat. Repeat 10 times.
Tips: Keep tempo slow and controlled. Repeat as pulses. Taking your ab curl, contract abdominals and continuously pulse the curl 20-25 times before lowering your head to the mat. Focus on simply contracting your abs, not a bouncing movement.
? Ab Curl With Ball Roll
Lie on back with knees bent and feet placed on the mat hips width apart. Place the exercise ball on your rib cage and hold with fingertips. Inhale to stay, exhale to curl head and shoulders off the mat rolling the ball up your thighs. Inhale to stay, exhale and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Now, taking your ab curl and rolling the ball up your thighs, inhale and raise the stability ball over your head, exhale and lower the ball back to your thighs without moving your body. Repeat that 3 times before lowering your head to the mat. Repeat sequence 3 more times.
Tips: Work navel to spine. Remember to keep your shoulders down as you do the ab curls.
? The Hundred
Lie on your back with the stability ball placed under your ankles, legs straight and held together. Try not to move your legs or ball during the Hundred. Inhale to stay, exhale and curl your head and shoulders off the mat, fingertips reaching long.
Pump the arms 6 inches off the mat up and down in a vigorous and quick manner. Breath in through your nose for five counts, exhale through your mouth for five counts.
For more challenge, slowly lift one leg off the exercise ball while exhaling, returning it slowly while inhaling. Exhale; raise leg. Inhale; lower leg. Alternate legs and continue for 100 breaths. Return to your starting position.
Tips: Remember to keep shoulders down and neck long. Feel your lower back firmly connected to the mat and your abdominals engaged.
? Full Roll Up
Lie on your back with your legs straight on the mat and tightly held together. Holding the exercise ball between your hands, take the ball over your head. As you reach your arms over your head, keep ribs closed, spine connected to the mat and abdominals engaged.
Inhale as you lift the ball to the ceiling; exhale curl head and shoulders off the mat rolling your spine all the way up and over your legs, arms reaching long in front of you. Inhale stay, exhale and slowly roll your body all the way down back to your starting position. Repeat 5-8 times.
Tips: Articulate your spine one vertebra at a time. Remember to keep shoulders down through entire exercise.
? Leg Circles
Lie on your back, knees straight and place the ball under ankles and calves.Arms are down reaching long at your sides and lifted off the mat. Lift your right leg into the air, keeping your bottom on the mat. Inhale to cross the leg over your midline, exhale to circle the leg back to start. Repeat 5 times clockwise, 5 times counterclockwise, and then repeat with left leg.
Tips: This exercise is made more challenging by lifting the arms off the mat. Remember to keep the exercise ball, and your body, still. Try to keep tension out of your neck and shoulders. Keep abdominals firm and pelvis stable.
? Rolling Like A Ball
Seated near the front of your mat and holding the stability ball between your palms, balance on your sit bones with knees tucked in close to your bottom, ball resting on your shins. Take feet off the mat and balance in this C-curve position.
Inhale, pull navel to your spine and roll back keeping you C-curve position. Exhale and roll back up through your spine to your starting position. Repeat 8 times.
Tips: As you perform Rolling Like Ball, think of the legs of a rocking chair and how they roll smoothly and remain connected to the floor. Remember to roll back only as far as across your shoulders, never onto your neck.
? Single Leg Stretch
Lie on your back, knees pulled to your chest, holding the ball between your palms and resting it on your knees. Inhale to stay holding the stability ball in the air above your chest. Exhale roll head and shoulders off the mat as you extend one leg out in front of you at a 45-degree angle.
Inhale switch legs, exhale and extend the other leg in front of you. Inhale to switch; exhale to extend. Repeat sequence 10 times.
Tips: Remember to keep your lower back connected to the mat. If at any time your back arches off the mat, stop the exercise ball workout and try again with the legs extending higher than 45 degrees.
? Double Leg Stretch
Lie on your back, knees pulled into your chest and holding the exercise ball on your shins with your hands.Inhale to stay, exhale and curl into a ball, chin towards chest and head and shoulders off the mat. Inhale to extend legs and arms, arms reaching long just behind your head, legs out at 45 degrees.
Exhale to pull back into a ball position, bringing ball to your ankles. Inhale to stretch legs and arms; exhale to curl into a ball. Repeat 8 times.
Tips: Keep lower back on the mat especially as the legs and arms extend. Body stays still as you move through this movement.Extra Credit: Try Double Leg Stretch with the ball between your ankles.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the mat. Place the stability ball between your knees. Hands behind your head, elbows wide.Inhale to stay, exhale curl head and shoulders off the mat and twist the right side of your ribcage across the body as you squeeze the ball.
Inhale returning to center and repeat working the left side of ribcage across your body. Exhale twist; inhale move center. Repeat 10 times to each side.
Tip: Remember to keep shoulders down and elbows wide. Try to work in a neutral pelvis.
? Inner Thigh Squeeze
Remain on your back with ball between knees and squeeze the ball hard, and release. Repeat 10 times.
Tip: Focus on the work in the inner thighs and pelvic floor.
? Hip Lift
Lie on your back with your ankles resting on the stabilty ball. Knees are bent, feet are flexed and legs remain together. Arms long at your sides. Inhale to stay, exhale lift and roll your bottom and lower back off the mat until knees are straight and your body is in a straight line.
Inhale pull the ball towards your bottom keeping hips lifted; exhale to push the ball away from you straightening the legs. Inhale to roll ball in; exhale push the ball away. Repeat ten times.
Tips: Try to keep the ball from swaying and use abdominal strength to control your movements. Squeeze your glutes and the back of your legs when you are in the plank position. Extra Credit: Repeat the exercise with arms lifted off the mat, fingers reaching towards the ceiling.
? The Pike
Starting position: Kneel in front of the ball. Drape your body over the ball, hands placed on the floor. Walk out until ball is under your shins, arms remain shoulder width apart.
Inhale to stay. Exhale lifting pelvis as high as you can control. Keep legs straight! Ball will roll towards your hands and stop when the tops of your feet are on the ball. You are now in a big pike position. Hold for a moment, return to plank position. Repeat 3-5 times.
Tips: Scapular stability is of the utmost importance as is abdominal strength. Perform this exercise ball workout with great control and focus.
Advanced exercise ball workouts can progress to include more core building exercises as well as more of the Pilates exercises. Free weights can also be added to perform traditional strength training moves.
The possibilities for advancing are endless! Repeat these advanced exercise ball workouts again and again until they feel comfortable and easy.
And as I always say, a session with a qualified instructor will ensure that you are performing these exercise ball workouts correctly and to their fullest benefit.
End of Advanced Exercise Ball Workout article.
Please click here to return to Intermediate Exercise Ball article.
Please click here to return to Everything-About Pilates home page from Advanced Exercise Ball Workouts article.