I've devoted this page to seven different exercise ball workouts. I will add more exercise routines as time permits. For now, here are two stability ball workouts for the beginner, two for an intermediate or someone with some experience with an exercise ball, and two ball routines for a more advanced individual. Modify them if you want to suit your own training requirements or your fitness level. Each exercise page in the workout will give you suggestions to make it more difficult or easier.
Exercise Ball Workouts
Biasing different muscle groups
Stretch after an exercise ball routine
When to stop an exercise
Factors affecting difficulty of a workout
Base of support
Length of lever arm
If you've stumbled upon this page and are just beginning to learn about core stability you should master the core exercises on the floor first before introducing an unstable surface such as an exercise ball. stretch after your exercise ball workout. For more information on stretching click here.
Each individual should stretch according to their specific needs, sports, and posture. If you have any concerns about what muscles to stretch, or if you have a condition that involves any joint instability see your physical therapist of course prior to beginning an exercise ball workout or stretching routine.
Basic Workout - Learn some basics first.
1. Beginner Workout I
2. Beginner Workout II
3. Intermediate Workout I
4. Intermediate Workout II
5. Advanced Exercise Ball Routine I
6. Advanced Exercise Ball Routine II
7. The "I have no time to exercise" workout
If you are looking to progress your exercise ball program read this page for some tips and the rationale behind them.
The base of support refers to the area under you over which weight is distributed. For example, if you are leaning on a ball with feet wide apart, your base of support is larger and therefore the exercise is easier. Move your feet closer together and the base of support gets smaller, it becomes more difficult to remain upright and therefore the exercise becomes more difficult. The triangle of support formed by your two legs and the ball is the base of support area. If you were to lift one leg, that would drastically reduce your base of support creating a much less stable support.
Length of lever arm
The longer the lever arm or distance between the end of the limb and the point of support, the more difficult will be the exercise. For instance, when sitting on the ball and raising your foot, if you keep your knee bent, the weight of your leg is closer to your trunk and therefore the exercise is easier. When doing the rollout on your knees the distance between your knees and point of support on the ball is shorter than if you were to do the rollout on your toes; hence, rollout on your knees is easier than the rollout on your toes.
If you are designing your own core training workout, start by using exercise ball exercises that have a large area of support. You can make that area of support larger by letting some air out of your ball making the point of contact of the ball with the floor larger. Also, think about the length of the lever arm during a given exercise. As your limbs are closer to the point of support it takes less effort to lift them. Crunches with your arms at your sides are easier than crunches with arms over your head as the weight is shifted further from your point of support (your butt on the ball).
Here is more information on exercise progression.
At the time of writing this I had 159 exercise ball exercises on this website. Of course you won't need to do all of them in your core workout, but once you're familiar with the one's I've included in the above workouts you will be able to mix and match exercise ball exercises depending on your goals.
Changing your exercise routine will help your core training program stay interesting and fun, and will also make you fit faster. In order to continue challenging our body we can add new exercises and new exercise ball routines.
Take a look at some exercise ball videos that readers have submitted and feel free to share your own exercise ball videos.