Do you really want to work your abdominal muscles? It is our core and powerhouse. There is an exercise tool that will work the entire abdominal muscles (rectus, transverse and obliques) with little discomfort yet very effective. This tool is a ball which is approximately 6″ in diameter. The most popular name is the “Bender Ball”, but there are other 6″ balls on the market that can be use the same way and get similar benefits….with use.
Here are a few floor exercises that can be accomplished with this ball at home:
BALL (centered in lower back)
Crunches – Sit upright, legs bent and feet flat on floor, arms out in front, inhale and exhale leaning upper body towards the floor and inhale and exhale coming back into an upright position.
Bow & Arrow – Sit upright with legs bent and feet flat on floor, arms straight out in front, pull 1 arm back along your side and turn your head in the same direction, like you are pulling back an arrow that’s in a bow. Bring that arm back to the front and repeat with the other arm on the opposite side. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets.
Twist – Sit upright with legs bent and feet flat on floor, arms out in front with bend at elbows; twist arms across body as you lower the body with a count of 4 and twist as you return in to an upright position with a count of 4. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets.
Side Plank – Lay on side with elbow on floor, lift hips off floor, hold for a count of 8 and lower your hips down. Repeat 4 sets.
Back Plank – Lay on your abdominals, up on elbows, come up on toes, hold for a count of 8 and lower your body to floor. Repeat 4 sets.
BALL (under glutes)
Crunch – Lay on back; bring legs up in a tabletop position, bring both legs down, tap toes on floor and bring legs up back in tabletop position. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets.
Side Crunch – Lay on back; place 1 arm behind head and other arm reaching for heel, do 8 consecutively, then other side.
Hip Lift – Lay on back; lift hip out to the side, bring back to center, then lift to opposite side. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets.
BALL (under foot)
Side Leg Lift – Lay on side; legs stacked on top of each other, lift top leg up and out towards the front, toe pointed down towards the floor, take leg up and down. Repeat on opposite side. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets on each side.
BALL (between Knees)
Transverse Abs – Lay on back; bring legs up in a tabletop position, bring one leg down and tap the floor with toes, then lift leg back up, then other leg. Alternate. Repeat with a minimum of 8 sets.
STRETCHES (on floor)
Front Stretch – On knees, place ball under hands and roll the ball out towards the front; then back toward. Repeat with a minimum 4 times.
Side Stretch – On knees, place ball under hands and roll the ball out to one side, then the opposite side. Repeat with a minimum 4 times.
Body Stretch – Lay on back with legs extended out and arms straight back over head flat on floor. Stretch arms and legs out as if someone is pulling your legs from the bottom and someone else is pulling your arms up top, press belly button flat to floor so you will have full body alignment.
You’ve done a great job. CONGRATULATIONS!