A Few New Stability Ball Exercises

Do you ever get bored with certain fitness equipment or tools? I usually do when I’m feeling in a rut and sick of my “usual” exercises with them. Lately I’ve felt that way about the stability ball, but at Mania I learned a few new moves that have inspired me to start using my stability ball once again. None of these exercises are anything super crazy different, but just involve a new way to switch things up from your everyday traditional moves.

I thought you guys might want some inspiration too!

Elbow Plank Knee Drives

  • Roll into an elbow plank on the stability ball (traditional move).
  • Alternate tapping each knee into the ball (makes it a little harder).
  • Here’s the part I love –> Instead of just gently tapping your knees into the ball, drive your knees in to hit the ball hard. The force from your legs causes the ball to roll around a bit, which causes YOU to use more core to stabilize yourself in the plank. LOVE.
  • Variations – Do this on the same leg, alternating legs, cross knees, etc.

Elbow Plank Knee Drive

Slowed down stability ball curl ups

  • Walk yourself into the position for a stability ball crunch (traditional move).
  • Keep your lower back on the ball, and work SLOWLY (that’s the difference) to curl up and back down. Make sure to never lower past a point where you can’t see your knees. That one instruction makes a huge difference in how much you feel your core working.

Stability Ball Curl Ups

  • Next variation: Roll down each shoulder-blade, and then back up through the center. Example: Roll down your right shoulder-blade to target your obliques before curling up in the center. You could stick to each side or alternate sides.
  • Final variation: Roll to each direction before curling back up. Example – Left, right, center. Then right, left, center, and so on.

Stability Ball Curl Ups with Rotation

Stability ball side planks

  • This exercise takes your standard side planks (traditional move) and adds a stability ball, but by your feet.
  • Version 1: Assume your side plank position with your top leg on the ball and your bottom knee down on the ground in front of the ball.
  • Version 2: Top leg on the ball, bottom leg out straight with your foot behind the ball.
  • Version 3: Top leg on the ball, bottom leg out straight under the ball.
  • Variations –> Elbow, straight arm, hip dips, just hold, etc. Part I LOVE in any of the positions —> Using your top foot, roll the stability forward and back. Killer!

Side Planks

Stability Ball Hover to Elbow Plank

  • Place your forearms on the stability ball as if you were going to assume an elbow plank position.
  • Lift your knees so they are hovering over the ground, making sure they are underneath your navel.
  • Hold there, then roll out to elbow plank (traditional move), then roll back in, and repeat.
  • Variations – single leg, add the drive ins once out in elbow plank, etc.

Hover to PlankHope you like these!

What’s a piece of fitness equipment that you’ve felt in a rut with before?

Move of the Week: The Scorpion

This week kicked off another session of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp Program.

I’ve been getting pretty creative on how to fit in all the workouts into my teaching schedule, if I do say so myself!!  I taught the full body straight set unilateral training workout in my Tuesday night Circuit class, and I taught one of the superset workouts in my Circuit class this morning.  One of my new favorite moves that I’ve taken away already from Week 1 of BBB is called the scorpion.

First of all, calling an exercise move the scorpion is just fun.

Second of all, I’ve been looking for a new core strength exercise to do on the stability ball.  I’ve taught stability ball planks, jackknifes, and pikes for a while but was craving something new to spice things up.  I don’t want people plateauing after all, including me!

Move of the Week:  The Scorpion

Step 1

Roll yourself out on a stability ball so that the ball rests somewhere between your knees and feet.  The closer to your knees the ball is, the easier the move will be.  The closer to your feet the ball is, the harder the move will be.  Make sure to keep your hands beneath your shoulders and your abs nice and tight.  You don’t want to sag the hips or let your back arch.

Step 2

Bring your right knee in toward your left shoulder.  If you are just starting out with this move, leave it there.

If you want an increased challenge, continue twisting and extend that right leg out so it comes to the left side of the stability ball (not-pictured).

Step 3

Bring the right leg back onto the ball, and repeat on the left side.  Again, you can choose whether you leave your knee just coming into the shoulder or whether you extend the leg fully out to the right side of the ball.

A few other options for this move include holding a straight-arm plank and bringing your knees into your chest (modified option), or holding a little extra longer on each side (advanced option).  Try starting out with 8 on each side like we did today in class, and see how you do!

For a You Tube video that you can watch for how to do this exercise (it includes that full leg extension option) — here you go!

If you could name one exercise, what would you call it? 

Happy *almost* Friday!  I am chugging tea (my throat is KILLING me today) and getting ready for my first official seminar in the new position at work. Not a very good combo huh?  Today I’m talking about how to maintain healthy living while on the road though as part of our Travel Smart seminar… yay!!

Move of the Week: Alternating Medicine Ball Pushups

Love.  This.  Move.

Move of the Week:  Alternating Medicine Ball Pushups

Step 1

Kneel before medicine ball.   Place right hand on top of ball and left hand on floor slightly wider than shoulder width away.  Position upper body above both hands with left arm straight and right arm bent with hand on ball.  Straighten body with forefeet back away from ball on floor shoulder width apart.  Keep your butt down and your abs tight, making sure to not sag the hips.

Step 2

Lower body into a pushup until slight stretch is felt in shoulder and chest.

Step 3

Push body back up.  As the right arm straightens, roll the ball across your body from the right hand to the left hand.

(my sad attempt at an action “rolling shot)

Step 4

After the ball rolls toward the other side, land the left hand on ball while quickly placing the right hand on floor slightly wider than shoulder width.


Step 5

Lower body into a pushup on this side.

Then repeat all steps and continue by alternating sides — rolling the ball > pushup > rolling the ball > pushup > etc.

Have fun!

Favorite type of pushup variation??  Favorite medicine ball move??  Anything else you’d like to share??