If you are ready for a new challenge on your exercise ball, and you have mastered our ball exercises for beginners, then you are ready for the intermediate level exercises.
Our fitness ball for intermediate level builds on the beginner Pilates ball routine. It starts with basic abdominal exercises and proceeds into an intermediate Pilates workout.If you haven?t already done so, refer to our Exercise ball workout for some basic ideas about working out on a stability ball.
You may want to perform a warm up before beginning your intermediate exercise ball workout. 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 exercise 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.
Tip: Keep tempo slow and controlled. Repeat as pulses. Taking your ab curl, contract abdominals and continuously pulse the curl 15-20 times before lowering your head to the mat.
? 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 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.
Tip: Remember to keep your shoulders down as you do the ab curl.
? The Hundred:
Lie on your back with the exercise 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. Continue for 100 breaths. Return to your starting position.
Tip: 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 knees bent and feet placed on the mat and slightly away from your body, legs together. Holding the 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, abdominals engaged and legs strongly together.
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 knees, 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.
Tip: 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. 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.
Tip: Remember to keep the 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 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 5 times.
Tip: 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 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.
Tip: Remember to keep your lower back connected to the mat. If at any time your back arches off the mat, stop the exercise and try again with the legs extending higher than 45 degrees.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the mat. Place the exercise 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 lowering down. Repeat working the left side of ribcage across your body. Repeat 10 times to each side.
Tip:Remember to keep shoulders down and elbows wide.
? 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 exercise ball. Knees are straight and legs remain together. Arms long at your sides.Inhale to stay, exhale and roll your bottom and lower back off the mat one vertebra at a time until your body is in a straight line.
Inhale to stay, exhale to roll your spine down sequentially until your bottom is on the mat. Repeat 5 times.
Tip: Try to keep the exercise 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. From there, add on a leg lift in the plank position. With hips up and legs straight, lift one leg up; lower it back to the ball. Lift other leg up; lower it back to the ball. Repeat 5 times on each leg, and then sequentially roll your spine back to the mat.
This exercise ball for intermediate level clients challenges control, stability and strength and adds some new exercises. Repeat this intermediate exercise ball workout again and again until it feels comfortable and easy. When you have built a strong foundation and feel ready for more challenges, move onto our advanced stabilty ball workout.
End of Intermediate Exercise Ball Workout article.
Please click here to return to Beginner article in this series.
Please click here to return to Everything-About-Pilates home page from Intermediate article page.