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Stability Ball Crunch
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis (upper portion), internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis
Set Up: Sit on a ball with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet away from the ball and lean backward until the ball is under your mid to upper back with your shoulders and head just off of the ball’s surface. Place your hands lightly behind your head, elbows facing out to the sides.
Action: Keeping your abdominals tight, slowly curl your torso upward, lifting just your upper back from the ball. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
Tip: Work your stabilizing muscles by bringing your feet close together.
Stability Ball Pike
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis (lower portion), internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, latissimus dorsi
Set Up: Get into a straight-leg push-up position with your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your feet on a stability ball, soles facing the ceiling. Retract your shoulder blades.
Action: Contract your abs up as you flex your hips, rolling the ball toward your body as you direct your tailbone toward the ceiling. Your body should form an inverted V with your toes up on the ball and your torso in a straight line. Slowly lower your hips to return to the start. Repeat.
Tip: Don’t round your back as you roll the ball.
Target Muscles:internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis
Set Up: Sit on a ball with your feet on the floor positioned shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs and slowly walk your feet forward until your torso is about 45 degrees to the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head without pulling it forward, elbows pointing out to the sides.
Action: Slowly twist your torso to the left, then the right, contracting your abdominals throughout the move and maintaining a controlled speed. Repeat, alternating between the left and right sides.
Tip: Don’t let your elbows fold in front of your body.
Stability Ball Roll-Out
Target Muscles: transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, triceps brachii
Set Up: Kneel in front of a ball, keeping your back straight. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and rest your forearms on the ball.
Action: Contract your abs and lean forward while extending your arms, keeping your torso straight as you roll the ball away from you. Stop when your arms are almost straight and your body is nearly aligned from your shoulders to your hips to your knees; you should be balancing on the ball with your forearms and elbows. Return to the start and repeat.
Tip: Remember that rolling the ball too far can put pressure on your shoulder joints.