Full Body Stability Ball Workout – Challenging and Effective!

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of stability balls? (You know, the giant inflated balls in the gym, also called Swiss balls or exercise balls.) Most people would say crunches, or if you’ve ever been pregnant, you might remember bouncing on one to try to relieve back discomfort. It’s actually a versatile piece of equipment, which can be used for an effective full body stability ball workout.

Since your smaller, postural muscles are forced to kick in to hold yourself in place on this unstable ball, it’s a great tool for adding a balance challenge to any exercise you choose to use it for. Basically, it just makes everything a bit more challenging.

Stability balls come in three standard sizes and it’s important to choose the size that works best for your height. If you’re under 5’5″, try the 55cm diameter. If you’re between 5’6″ and 5’11”, try the 65cm diameter. Anyone taller than 5″11 should go for the 75cm diameter. If you’re unsure of the size of the ball, just do a seated test – sit on the stability ball, and your knees should be at a 90 degree angle, or a slightly greater angle (i.e. thighs pointed down slightly). If you’re close to this angle, it’s the correct size for you.

I’ve put together a 3 circuit stability ball workout for you. As well as the stability ball, you will need a pair of dumbbells, a body bar, and a medicine ball.

FULL BODY STABILITY BALL WORKOUT

2 SETS – 15 REPETITIONS – REST 1 MINUTE BETWEEN CIRCUITS

CIRCUIT ONE – Lower Body

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Squats

Starting with your back against the stability ball on a wall or flat surface, push your back into the ball as you lower down into a squat (the ball rolls with your movement). Slowly roll your way back up to a standing position.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Pike

Get into a hand plank position, with your feet resting on top of the stability ball. Roll the ball in towards your chest, keeping your legs straight, and hinging at your hips. Slowly reverse the move to come back to your starting plank position.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Bulgarian Squats

Just getting into the start position for these stability ball Bulgarian squats can be challenging in and of itself! Stand with your back to the ball, and reach one foot back to rest on top of it. Hop forward, regain your balance, then slowly lower down into a split squat, with your back leg elevated on the stability ball. Here, I’m using a medicine ball to add weight to the exercise. You can also do this bodyweight, or holding a different form of weight.

CIRCUIT TWO – Upper Body

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Bench Press

Take a seat on the ball with dumbbells in your hands. Start walking your feet out, rolling your torso down onto the ball as you do. Stop when your shoulders, neck, and head are supported, then raise your hips and keep your glutes engaged to maintain a neutral spine. Starting with your weights at your chest, press the dumbbells up over your chest, then slowly return back to starting position.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Overhead Press

To come back to seated from the bench press position, start walking your feet back toward the ball, until your torso raises and you are back to sitting on the ball. Starting with the weights at your shoulders, palms facing forward, press the dumbbells up overhead, keeping your abs strong and a neutral spine. Lower slowly back to your start position.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Kayak Twist

Swap your dumbbells for a body bar for the kayak twist. Holding the bar in front of your chest, leaning back slightly, ‘row’ the bar from one side of your body over the the other side. Keep your abs contracted throughout the exercise, and let your knees fall slightly to the opposite side you are reaching.

CIRCUIT THREE – Core

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Ball Roll Outs

Start in a kneeling position, facing the ball, with a straight line from knees to shoulders. Place your hands on the ball right in front of you, then start to roll the ball away from you, keeping that straight line throughout the movement (i.e. not hinging at the hip), ending with your forearms pressed into the ball. Engage your abdominals, then press into the ball to start rolling it back to start position. Focus on not pushing your hips back, or hinging at the hip at all.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Plank

For a whole new challenge to your plank exercise, try a plank with forearms resting on the stability ball (or hands if you’re a real masochist!). You’ll feel your muscles working harder to keep yourself in plank position since you’re resting on a (very) unstable surface. Try to hold it as long as you hold a regular forearm plank, and try to add time in your second set.

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Ball Swaps

No one likes these. šŸ™‚ For ball swaps, lie down on your back and position the ball so it’s held in place above your torso with your feet and hands. Grasp it firmly with your feet, release your hands, and lower the ball with your feet toward the floor, as your hands reach back over your head. Reverse the movement, and swap the ball from feet to hands when you get back to starting position, then lower it with your hands overhead as you lower your legs. That’s one rep, by the way. #sorrynotsorry

Try this full body stability ball workout that works on strength, balance and core! Three circuits of challenging exercises all using a stability exercise ball.

Dead Bugs

Dead bugs are the exercise you think is going to be easier than ball swaps until you’re halfway through and you realize you don’t like this one, either. However, not only is this a great abdominal exercise, it also builds coordination skills. Start with the ball suspended over your torso, held in place by your hands and knees. Slowly take one hand and the opposite knee away from the stability ball, and press toward the floor. Return them to the ball, then do the same thing on the other side. 

Looking for more workouts? Check out this link for all the workouts on Fine Fit Day, or this link for the popular Workouts for Runners series!

This stability ball workout is just a small sampling of the exercises you can do with this one piece of equipment. You can also do this whole workout in the same, small space, so it’s a great option for a full body workout when the gym is packed and you don’t want to battle to work in with someone, or have to wait for equipment to be free. Try it out next time you’re at the gym, and find out how the stability ball can challenge you!

What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the gym?

Do you ever use the stability balls for your workout?

Comments

  1. Interesting workout with the swiss ball. I have one at home that I bought years ago but it just kind of sits in the corner. Will have to dust it off and give it another try with this routine.
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