Eight Great Yoga Ball Exercises for Core Strength

Eight Great Yoga Ball Exercises for Core Strength

Regular exercise has a wide range of health benefits. If you like to do your workouts at home, you may feel tempted to purchase expensive equipment to aid your routine. Why not consider a yoga ball? Yoga balls are ideal for a range of exercises that target core muscles. Core strength is essential to maintain good posture and stability. With an inexpensive yoga ball, there is a wide collection of effective exercises that will offer all the right results.

Here are some great exercise moves that you can do right at home to target various muscle groups.

The Plank

  1. This is a classic move with great benefits for core strength.
  2. Place the ball on the ground and lie on it on your stomach. Your feet have to touch the floor behind the ball and your hands have to be able to touch the floor in front of you.
  3. Walk on your hands until the ball is between the upper thighs and the floor. Now, your feet should be suspended over the ball while you maintain balance with your hands on the floor. Your shoulders should be kept directly above your hands.
  4. Tighten your stomach muscle and hold for three deep breaths or for as long as you can maintain the pose and balance.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat 5 times.

The Crunch

This is another classic move that has been adapted to be performed on a yoga ball.

  1. Lie on your back on the ball. The palms of your hands should be able to be placed flat on your upper thighs.
  2. Curl your upper body forward very slowly while still keeping your hands on your thighs.
  3. Once you have reached your knees with the palms of your hands, lower back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 15 times

The Bridge

Yoga Ball Exercise - Back Bend

There are many great exercises you can perform with a yoga ball.

The bridge works several different core muscles in combination to improve overall core strength.

  1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat and place your legs on the yoga ball.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles and raise your hips and buttocks off the floor to form a ‘bridge’ with the ball.
  3. Hold the pose for three deep breaths.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat.  You can add some more challenge to the move as you master it. Raise your left leg off the ball during step 3 and repeat with your right leg on the next rep.

Abdominal Ball Raise

This is another great move that works your core muscles.

  1. Lie on your back and place your legs on top of the ball. Make sure that your legs are held apart at about hip-width.
  2. Squeeze your legs together as you tighten your stomach muscles.
  3. Raise the ball up, off the floor. The movement should be done by pulling your bellybutton area in, towards your spine to contract the abdominal muscles.
  4. Hold the position for three deep breaths.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunches fall into the advanced core exercise category. Once you have had some practice with simple yoga ball this movement should come easy for added core strength.

  1. Lie down with your stomach on the ball. Your feet should be touching the floor behind the ball.
  2. Walk on your hands, away from the ball until it is located under your upper thigh area. Your shoulders should be kept directly above your hands while your abdominal muscles are tightened.
  3. Bend your knees and press them into the ball. Use your stomach muscles to draw your knees towards your chest.
  4. Hold the position for three deep breaths.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Ski Step

This move will work wonders on the sides of the abdominal muscles.

  1. Sit on the yoga ball with your feet placed together.
  2. In a fluid motion, swing your feet to your right side while moving your arms to your left.
  3. Bring your arms and legs back to the center and repeat on the other side.
  4. Continue the move for about 12 to 15 reps, alternating sides.

Wall Squats

While you work on your core strength, try and work the rest of your body as well, for a more balanced workout. Wall squats are great for toning the calves, thighs and buttocks.

  1. Stand with your back to a ball and place the yoga ball between the curve of your back and the wall.
  2. Place your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees and lower your body about 10 inches. Make sure that your hips are kept square while your shoulders are at level.
  4. Hold this pose for 3 seconds and stand up slowly. Repeat for up to 12 reps.

The Roll Out

This is a great exercise that works the upper body along with the core for added benefits.

  1. Place the ball on the floor and kneed behind it. Place your palms down on top of the ball.
  2. Push the ball forwards with your hands, very slowly until your triceps are positioned on top of the ball. Your legs should be extended almost all the way, while the knees are firmly planted on the ground.
  3. Return to original position and repeat 10 times.

One important thing you need to keep in mind is to purchase the right size yoga ball. The size of the ball will aid you to carry out the motions with greater accuracy and effectiveness. For those between the heights 4’-11” and 5’-4”, a ball with a diameter of 55 centimeters would be great. 65 Centimeter balls are ideal for those between the heights 5’-4” and 5’-7” while anyone between 5’-11” and 6’-7” will find a great fit with a 75 centimeter ball. It is always a good idea to sit on the ball to make sure that it’s a great fit. If your hands and knees are at right angles to the floor when you are on the ball, that means you have picked the right one that fits you comfortably.


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