You probably think of the stability ball as a tool for core strengthening and, yes, it is a killer modality for that aim. However, there are other ways to use the ball you might not have thought of, such as these moves that work your legs 360 degrees around as well as your glutes and hips. Arranged in a metcon circuit, these exercises become a fat-burning workout, bar none.
Warm up with some light cardio and dynamic stretches such as leg swings, toe touches, high knees and butt kicks. Next, do two sets of rolling lunges per leg without weights to warm up, then get into the workout: Perform five sets of rolling lunges using incrementally heavier dumbbells to push your strength limits, add lean muscle and exhaust your glycogen stores while also training your balance and proprioception. Keep your rest to no more than 30 to 60 seconds between sets to recover just slightly, pushing your metabolic threshold.
Next come two supersets using high reps and short rest periods to elevate your heart rate and kick your burn into high gear. These are programmed as bodyweight moves, but if you want to make the workout more intense or strength oriented, add dumbbells or plates to the exercises. Follow up with some static mobility work such as figure-4 stretches and runner’s lunges.
Stability-Ball Metcon Workout
|Rolling Lunge||5*||20, 15, 12, 10, 5 (each leg)|
|One-Legged Lateral Squat, superset with Superman Squeeze||2-3||20-25 (each leg), 15-second hold (3x)|
|Two-Legged Bridge, superset with Prone Glute Lift||2-3||20-25, to failure|
*This does not include two warm-up sets of 10 to 15 reps per side using bodyweight only.
Stand on one leg and extend the other leg behind you and place your foot, laces down, on top of the ball. Bend your standing knee and lunge down, rolling the ball behind you as you descend, keeping your front knee over your toes and your chest lifted. When you’ve come as low as possible, press your rear leg down into the ball to activate the quads and hips and roll it forward as you stand. When you start to add weights, you can hold them either at your sides or at your shoulders for a greater challenge.
One-Legged Lateral Squat
Stand on one leg and extend the other leg to the side so your ankle rests on top of the ball, leg straight. Kick your hips back and bend your standing knee, rolling the ball laterally away from you. Extend your leg to stand back up, pressing down into the ball to activate your inner thighs as you roll it toward you.
Lie facedown with your arms extended overhead and hold a stability ball between your feet or shins. Squeeze your legs together as you lift your legs and upper body off the floor and hold for 15 seconds. Lower slowly to the start, rest five seconds, and then repeat.
Lie faceup on the floor and place both feet on top of the ball, legs straight. Extend your arms along your sides, then press your hips up to align with your knees and shoulders and pause. Slowly lower to the start and repeat.
Prone Glute Lift
Lie facedown on top of the ball with your hips fully supported, your head neutral and your hands placed flat on the floor. Extend your legs behind you and open them a foot or so. Hold your upper body steady as you lift your legs to come in line with your hips and pause, then lower slowly to the start.