November 13, 2013
Our lives are busy—especially during the holiday season—which can make finding the time to get in the recommended daily amount of exercise seem next to impossible. Between work, school, kids, chores and other engagements, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. And even if you do have the time, you may not have access to a gym to break a sweat. The good news is you don’t need an expensive gym or a ton of time to stay healthy, fit and become a better you!
A stability ball is an inexpensive equipment option that you can use to work your entire body in the comfort of your own home—and in very little time. With this 10-minute stability-ball program, you can get a simple yet effective workout that you can do any time of day—before work, during your lunch break or even between household chores.
Warm-up – 2 minutes
Begin with a short, dynamic warm-up before getting started on the stability ball.
- Arm circles forward (15 seconds)
- Arm circles backwards (15 seconds)
- Mountain climbers (30 seconds)
- Jumping jacks (30 seconds)
- Bodyweight squats (30 seconds)
Stability Ball Circuit – 8 minutes
Perform each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds after each one before heading on to the next exercise.
Stability-ball Wall Squats: Set the ball up against a wall and gently lean against it, positioning the top of the ball into the small of your back. Place your feet shoulder width-apart and just slightly in front of you. Place your hands on your hips, bend your knees and perform a squat, keeping your knees in line with the second toe.
Push-ups: Place your shins on the ball and put your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows, allowing them to flare outward slightly as you lower your torso toward the floor; your chest should be positioned between your hands. Push back up, keeping your core engaged to avoid sagging your low back or hiking your hips upward during the movement.
Stability-ball Crunches: Lie on the ball with your lower back and your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Place your fingertips lightly behind your ears for support and focus on a spot on the ceiling during the crunch to help keep your chin from resting on your chest. Engage your core and lift your torso about 6 to 12 inches.
Reverse Lunge With Twist: Hold the stability ball with both hands in front of your chest. Step your right leg back behind you and perform a lunge. Simultaneously, twist your torso and the ball to your left, engaging your core. Step back up and place your right foot back next to the left, returning to the starting position. Repeat on the left side and continue alternating sides.
Stability Ball Knee Tucks: Assume a push-up position once again with the shins on top of the ball and hands on the floor. Bend your knees and pull the ball in toward your body. Hold the contracted position for a couple of seconds before rolling the ball back out. For an advanced move, try performing a stability ball pike with straight legs.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curls: Lie on your back with hands by your side and palms facing down. Place your calves on the ball and lift your hips off the ground so your shoulders, hips and feet are in a straight line. Keep the core engaged as you bend your knees and pull the ball toward your hips. Pause for a second before rolling the ball back out, being sure to keep your hips off the floor. For an advanced move, try a single-leg variation.
Back Extensions: Lie down with the stability ball positioned under your hips with your feet pressed flat against a wall. Bend your knees and hug the ball between your torso and knees. Place your fingertips behind your head and lift your torso, hinging at the hips, as you continue to press your feet against the wall. Keep your spine extended and finish the movement with your knees, hips and shoulders in a straight line at about a 45-degree angle from the wall. Be mindful not to overarch the back. Bend at the hips and lower back down until your stomach once again contacts the ball.
Leg Lifts: Lie on your back and place the ball in between your knees. Squeeze your legs, hug the ball and then lift it straight up until your legs are perpendicular with the floor. At the top position, try and lift your hips a few inches off the ground before slowly lowering back down, keeping the ball from making contact with the ground.
Get inspired with more stability ball exercises and be sure to enter ACE’s Workout Wednesday photo contest on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #ACEWorkoutWed for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip for two to the ultra-luxury wellness and spa resort Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic!
Riana Rohmann, CSCS, has her B.S., in exercise physiology from CSU San Marcos. She started her fitness career as a high-level gymnastics coach and progressed into personal training, which led to her position as a Combat Fitness Specialist for the Marine Corps. She is also a national level NPC Figure Competitor, as well as a coach. She has over 12 years of experience in the professional fitness industry. Riana writes articles and blogs for various publications including ACE, Livestrong.com AZ Central Health and Fitness, TheNest Woman and Sexy-Strong.com.