On the Ball: Simple Core Circuit
This low impact stability ball core and upper body workout can be done at home, or in the gym with limited space. The stability ball (or Swiss Ball as it’s sometimes called) is a great tool to challenge your core. Why? Because it provides an element of instability, forcing your core muscles to fire in order to hold you upright. It also provides a way to offset some of your body weight for movements like pushups.
This circuit targets your core and upper body. This is a low impact circuit, appropriate for an intermediate/ advanced beginner. Before you try it, you want to make sure you are able to activate and brace the core and glute muscles (you’ll need them to stay stable on the ball!). Also, you will need to be able to get up and down off the floor. If that is challenging, you can do the ball passes on a massage table or other wide, elevated surface. Avoid a bench as it’s too narrow and you risk falling off.
1. Stability Ball Pushups
Pushups are a great total body exercise. When you do a pushup, you want to make sure you are squeezing errythang. You want to be in a solid plank. To perform the pushup, place your hips on the ball and extend your legs back. Squeeze those cheeks and keep those legs high.
Using the muscles in your back, slowly lower your body, and then push back up. It helps to think of pulling yourself down and pushing yourself up. Keep the body tight. The closer the ball is to the hips, the easier. The further towards the feet, the more challenging.
2. Pikes to Knee Tuck-Ins
I generally start with pikes because truth be told, I can only do a few =)
To pike, place the ball under your pelvis. Lift the hips high into the sky, keeping your legs straight and allowing your body weight to move vertically over your shoulders (also great for shoulder stability and strength!). Lower back down.
To tuck your knees, you start the same way, but only bring your hips high enough to tuck the knees in. You want to try and stay lower in the hips here.
3. Ball Crunch
Keeping your back and shoulder blades on the ball and your feet on the ground, squeeze your abs to slowly pull yourself up into a crunch. Careful not to pull on your neck or initiate the movement from your head! Lower back down and repeat. You can add a twist at the top for added rotation an oblique work. Again, don’t pull on your neck!
4. Ball Pass
Starting laying on your back and the floor, arms and legs outstretched. Tilt your pelvis slightly so your lower back is in full contact with the floor, crotch to the ceiling. Lift your arms to pass the ball to your legs, and then lower. Pass back and forth, keeping that lower back on the floor! If your lower back is coming off the floor, reduce your range of motion. Don’t lower your feet all the way back to the ground.
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