Get Six Pack Abs With An Exercise Ball
Want a flat midsection? If so, you should be incorporating an exercise ball into your workout sessions.
An exercise ball is a great way to boost your core muscle activation because it puts you on an unstable surface, making your abs work that much harder.
Likewise, there are many non-crunch ab movements that can be done using the exercise ball, adding variety to your workout session and ensuring that you attack those muscles from all angles.
Let’s take a closer look at three specific ab moves that you can do using an exercise ball. Try these for your next workout session.
Prone Ball Roll In
The first move is one that’s great for not only hitting your core muscles, but will also work the hip flexors and shoulders to some degree as well.
The prone ball roll in is a challenging move, so great for those who are looking to advance from the beginner’s stage.
Simply place the feet up on the ball as you balance the body, face down, on the hands beneath the shoulders. Once in position, find your balance and then slowly begin to contract the abs as you bring the ball towards the chest as far as it can go. It’s important while doing this that you do think of directing the movement pattern from the ab muscles.
Don’t pull in using the legs or arms or you will take much of the stress of the movement away form the core.
Once the ball is in, pause and then slowly contract it out again. Continue on until all reps are completed.
Swiss Ball Plank
The next move is the swiss ball plank. Chances are you are already quite familiar with the standard plank, so adding the exercise ball simply takes the intensity up a notch.
To do this one, you’ll place the hands up on an exercise ball and hold the plank from there.
Because you are so unstable, you’ll really feel the muscles deep within the core contracting as hard as possible.
If this is too challenging, a slightly easier version is placing the feet up on the ball instead.
You’ll still get similar benefits, but you won’t need quite as much strength to balance yourself on the ball with this variation.
Note that you should be able to hold a standard plank for 45-60 seconds before graduating to these advanced versions.
Finally, the last of the core moves to try out using an exercise ball is the tri-set crunch.
To do this, you’ll simply lay across the exercise ball with the hands behind the head. Next, crunch straight up as if you were doing a straight forward crunch. Pause at the top and then lower. From there, crunch to the side. Pause and then lower. Finally, finish up with a crunch to the opposite side of the body.
This constitutes one rep. Aim for 8-10 reps per set. Because you are hitting the ab muscles from all three angles here, you’ll work both the main ‘six pack’ muscles as well as your obliques, firming up your entire midsection.
To advance this move, you can position the hands directly behind the head (rather than at your ears). It will create additional weight that you’ll need to work against. Just remember to keep the elbows facing out at all times, not pointing forward.
So next time you’re in the gym gearing up for an ab workout, give any one of these moves a try.