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Stability Ball Exercise Guide

Safety Warning

Always consult your Doctor before performing any exercise programme. If you experience any discomfort or dizziness, then stop all exercise immediately and consult your Doctor. Before each use, check the ball for any holes or scratches and do not use it if you find any signs of damage. Be sure to use the ball on a flat, smooth surface and keep it clear of any sharp objects. Avoid exposing the ball to prolonged periods of sunlight and keep it away from heat sources such as heaters or fireplaces. We recommend removing any sharp objects such as rings or watches that could damage the ball.

Press Up Hold

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your hands on top of the ball in a press up position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Your arms should be locked out. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor, you should now be on your toes and hands only. Brace your core throughout the movement and maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TOP TIPS

If you find the ball is moving a lot, place the ball against a wall or in the corner of the room for increased stability. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, keep your arms locked out and under control, move your arms forwards, backwards and side to side for the duration of the exercise.

SETS AND REPS Perform 3-5 sets of 20-30 seconds (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 5-10 seconds per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout. 

Press Up Hold (Bent Arms)

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your hands on top of the ball in press up position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Your arms should be bent at the elbow. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor, you should now be on your toes and hands only. Self-select the bend at your elbow. Brace your core throughout the movement and maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TOP TIPS

If you find the ball is moving a lot, place the ball against a wall or in the corner of the room for increased stability. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, bend your arms more lowering your chest down towards the ball. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, keep your arms bent and under control move your arms forwards, backwards and side to side for the duration of the exercise.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 20-30 seconds (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 5-10 seconds per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Press Up

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface.
Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your hands on top of the ball in press up position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Your arms should be locked out. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor, you should now be on your toes and hands only. Brace your core and lower yourself down under control until your chest touches the ball. Your elbows should move at an angle of 5 and 7 on a clock face (20-40° angle from your body). Pause, and return to your start position. Throughout the movement maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TOP TIPS

If you find the ball is moving a lot, place the ball against a wall or in the corner of the room for increased stability. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, slow down the lowering phase of the movement and pause in the bottom position for 5 seconds.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Plank

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your elbows on top of the ball shoulder width apart, clasp your hands together. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor. You should now have only your forearms and elbows on the ball. Maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the intensity of the exercise, raise one foot off the floor for the duration of the set. Change legs for the next set. To increase the intensity of the exercise, in your start position move your arms forward so your elbows are now positioned in front of your shoulders and not below.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 20-30 seconds (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 5-10 seconds per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Plank Roll Out

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your elbows on top of the ball shoulder width apart, clasp your hands together. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor. You should now have only your forearms and elbows on the ball. Keeping your hips in the same position, roll your arms forward under control, pause and return to start position. Maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the intensity of the exercise, pause for 5-10s at the front of the movement. To increase the intensity of the exercise, roll your arms out as far as you can maintain level hips throughout. Alternatively, to reduce the intensity, begin with smaller movements forward.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Stir the Pot

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Kneel down with your ball in front of you.

EXECUTION

Place your elbows on top of the ball shoulder width apart, clasp your hands together. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders. Retract your shoulders, contract your abdominals and raise your hips off the floor. You should now have only your forearms and elbows on the ball. Keeping your hips in the same position, roll your arms in a circle under control, pause and roll your arms in the opposite direction. The ball should move in a circular fashion, imagine stirring a large pot. Maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the intensity of the exercise, make each rotation take 5-10s. To increase the intensity of the exercise, take one foot off the floor throughout all repetitions.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 5-10 repetitions in each direction (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions each side per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Reverse Super Crunch

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on your back on a mat with your stability ball between your feet.

EXECUTION

Stretch your arms back to hold a stable, solid pillar/object. Holding a partner’s ankles is perfect. Squeeze your feet together and raise your knees and feet off the floor so your hips and knees are bent to 90°. This is your start position. Contract your abdominals and curl your body up leading with the ball. Aim to avoid pulling through your arms to maximise the core contraction. Your body should now be close to vertical and the ball directly above your shoulders/head. Pause at the top and then curl yourself back down to the start position.

TOP TIPS

To reduce the intensity of this exercise, use your upper body to simultaneously pull yourself upwards. Move towards as little upper body contribution as possible. Build up to this exercise with the reverse crunch movement. To increase the intensity of the exercise when at the top of the movement, add in a vertical movement with the ball each repetition. Aim to raise the ball up one foot each time.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 5-10 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per session/week. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Feet Elevated Press Up

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Start on all fours with the stability ball between your feet.

EXECUTION

Place your hands in press up position on the floor, keep one knee planted on the floor and extend the leg so your foot is resting on the top of the stability ball. Brace your trunk, retract your shoulder blades and raise your other leg up so it is on top of the ball. Under control lower your body down towards the floor, your elbows should move at an angle of 5 and 7 on a clock face (20-40° angle from your body). Pause at the lowest point of the movement then return to start position. Throughout the movement maintain one straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TOP TIPS

To assist with stability during this exercise, ask a partner to hold the ball stable or place the ball against a wall/in the corner of the room. To increase the intensity of this exercise take 5s to lower, 5s pause at the bottom and 5s to return back to start position.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Hip extension

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on your back on a mat and place your heels on top of your stability ball.

EXECUTION

Place your hands by your sides and roll your ball towards your glutes until your hips and knees are bent to 90°. From the start position, brace your trunk and raise your hips up off the floor until fully extended. Pause at the top of the movement then return under control to the floor. The ball should remain still throughout the movement. Gently touch the floor, keeping tension through your body and perform the next repetition.

TOP TIPS

To increase the stability of this exercise, place the ball against the wall/in the corner of the room. To increase the intensity of the exercise, perform the exercise on one leg. To increase the intensity of the exercise, pause at the top of the movement for 5-10s per repetition.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Low Hip Hamstring Curl

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on your back on a mat and place your heels on top of your stability ball.

EXECUTION

Place your hands by your sides and straighten your legs with your heels on the ball. Brace your trunk and raise your hips up off the floor until fully extended. Pull your heels in towards your glutes. Your hips should remain the same distance off the floor throughout the whole movement. Keep tension through your body throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the stability of this exercise, place your calves on the ball as well as your heels. To increase the intensity of the exercise, take 5s to complete the inward phase and 5s complete the outward phase.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

High Hip Hamstring Curl

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on your back on a mat and place your heels on top of your stability ball.

EXECUTION

Place your hands by your sides and straighten your legs with your heels on your ball. Brace your trunk and raise your hips up off the floor until fully extended. Pull your heels in towards your glutes whilst simultaneously raising your hips up until fully extended. Pause at the top and lower your hips down to your start position under control. Keep tension through your body throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the stability of this exercise, place your calves on the ball as well as your heels. To increase the intensity of the exercise, pause at the top of the movement for 5-10s per repetition.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Single Leg Hamstring Curl

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on your back on a mat and place one heel on top of your stability ball.

EXECUTION

Place your hands by your sides and straighten your leg with your heel on your ball. Brace your trunk and raise your hips up off the floor until fully extended. Your free leg should be up in the air (not in contact with the ball) in a comfortable position. Pull your heel in towards your glutes. Your hips may raise slightly throughout the movement. You should aim to do either the high hip or low hip variation. Keep tension through your body throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS

To increase the stability of this exercise, place your calves on the ball as well as your heels. To build up to this exercise, pull in with both heels on the ball and use only one heel on the outward phase. To increase the intensity of the exercise, take 5s to complete the inward phase and 5s complete the outward phase. Try the high and low hip variations to target the hamstring in a slightly different area.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Curl in

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Start on all fours with the stability ball between your feet.

EXECUTION

Place your hands in press up position on the floor, keep one knee planted on the floor and extend the leg so your foot is resting on the top of the stability ball. Brace your trunk, retract your shoulder blades and raise your other leg up so it on top of the ball. From your start position, keeping your back flat and hips level pull your feet in towards you until your knees are at 90° or directly below your hips. Pause and return to start position under control.

TOP TIPS

To increase the intensity of the exercise take 5 seconds on each phase of the movement and a 5 second pause at the front of the movement.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

Wall Squat

SET UP

Place your ball against a wall. Hold onto the ball and then carefully lean back against the ball with your lower back on the ball.

EXECUTION

Lean against the ball placing your feet 1-2 feet out in front of you shoulder width apart. Place your arms across your chest or by your side. Brace your trunk and bend your knees and hips simultaneously, moving straight down to towards the floor until you reach 90°. Your upper back should now be in contact with the ball. Maintain a tight trunk throughout the movement and ensure your hips do not shift backwards (underneath the ball). Pause at the bottom of the movement and return to the start position.

TOP TIPS

Maintain control during the squat by adjusting the amount of pressure you put against the ball. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, hold a weight plate across your chest or a dumb bell in each hand.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability).
Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session.
Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

V-Sit Ball Pass

SET UP

Place your stability ball in a clear and open area which has a level surface. Lie down flat on a mat with your arms and legs out stretched and your ball placed between your feet.

EXECUTION

Grip the centre of the ball between your feet. Simultaneously raise the ball and your arms up to meet in the middle. Pass the ball from your feet to your hands. Do not let the ball or your feet touch the floor, pause and then pass the ball back to your feet.

TOP TIPS

When passing the ball from hands to feet, hold this position for 5-10s to increase the contraction on your trunk.

SETS AND REPS

Perform 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions (depending on your ability). Increase by 1-2 sets and/or 2-5 repetitions per week/session. Pair the exercise together with another movement or as part of a circuit to increase the efficiency of your workout.

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