5 Exercises That Work Your Core With a Yoga Ball

Yoga balls, also known as exercise balls or swiss balls, are an excellent tool for increasing core engagement and challenging stabilising muscles. Choose a yoga ball with an anti-burst valve for increased safety and stability.

Lie on the floor with the yoga ball underneath your thighs. Engage your core as you gently raise your hips off the ball, then squeeze your back muscles to return to the starting position.

Plank Rollouts

The stability ball ab rollout targets the core muscles as well as a range of other muscles. This exercise is a more accessible alternative to the more intense full ab-wheel move, but still provides a challenging workout for anyone that can maintain a plank position.

To perform this exercise, place a yoga ball under your forearms and bend your elbows to roll the ball away from you. Continue rolling out until your knees form 90-degree angles and then return to the start position. Repeat for 2 sets. This exercise can be performed on any surface, but the stability ball provides an added challenge.

Back Extensions

The back is an important muscle group for your posture, everyday movement and strength, and a strong back helps you maintain good form during workouts. This exercise, also known as hyperextension on a yoga ball, targets the lower back muscles to improve posture and spinal health.

Be careful not to over-arch your back, as this can increase compression on the spine and irritate existing injuries or conditions. Overextending your back can also reduce the training effect of this exercise.

Position your upper body over the ball, tighten your ab muscles and extend your legs long behind you until torso and thighs are in one long line.

Single Leg Glute Bridge

The single leg glute bridge is a simple, effective exercise to balance your hip extensor muscles and help prevent back pain. It also challenges your core to prevent your torso from falling forward, and can be performed anywhere.

Stronger hip and glute muscles stabilize the pelvis, reducing the strain on other lower body and core muscle groups when exercising or performing daily tasks, says MacPherson. Those with weak glutes tend to rely more on their knee and back muscles, which can lead to overuse or injury.

When using a yoga ball for core stability and balance exercises, it’s important to use the right size. Overinflated balls can increase the risk of a burst and compromise your safety.

Side to Side Twists

Whether you’re using a yoga ball for functional training, physical therapy, or to improve your posture at work, it’s important that you get the right size. Choosing an over- or under-inflated ball may increase the risk of burst, which could compromise your safety.

Lie on the floor and place the yoga ball under your back with your legs bent. Roll the ball forward until your upper back is resting on top of it, then hold your arms in front of your chest and twist your torso to the side. Repeat on each side to complete the reps desired.

Inverted V

Boost your core strength with this simple yet effective bodyweight exercise. This inversion-based plank also helps build stability and improves flexibility. Try adding this to your core and full-body workouts.

Inversions such as handstands and shoulder stands improve blood flow, boost oxygen circulation to the muscles and can reduce stress levels. Inversion exercises do not need to be as intense as a handstand to provide these benefits, though, and even simple inversions such as the inverted V can help.

Assume a push-up position on the ball, keeping the core engaged and shoulders set. Push upwards, rolling the ball towards your chest until you make an inverted V shape. Slowly return back to the starting position.

Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are a great addition to any workout and work the same muscles whether performed on or off of the yoga ball. Adding the ball to the exercises increases core engagement and forces the stabilizing muscles to work harder to maintain balance.

Lie on the floor and position the ball under your thighs. Keeping the ball still, bridge up by driving your hips upward through the heel. Lower back to the floor and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

A yoga ball can pop or burst if it is exposed to excessive weight or if it comes into contact with sharp objects or rough surfaces. Make sure to only use a yoga ball that is appropriately inflated for your height, weight and intended use.

Knee Tucks

Stability / Swiss / exercise ball knee tuck to chest is a gym work out exercise that targets abs and also involves calves and glutes & hip flexors. Other exercises that target these muscle groups include modified bicycles, side jackknifes and double-side jackknifes.

Get into a plank position with the ball resting under your shins and contract your core muscles to roll the ball in towards your chest and then extend back out to the starting point. Repeat as many times as you can control and maintain.

It is important to use a quality yoga ball that is properly inflated. It should be inflated to the right size for your height, have a stable surface and be clear of any objects that could puncture the ball.