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Abdominals - Fitball

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The following exercise incorporate an exercise ball or swiss ball and target the arm muscles. Use the quick links below to access the desired exercise:

Exercise

 Part of the body worked Difficulty level (out of 10) 
Ab Curl Works the rectus abdominals scale 5     5/10
Oblique Curl Works the muscles down the waist scale 5     5/10
Jack Knife Works the core muscles and upper body scale 8     8/10
Egg Curl Works the rectus abdominals and lower abdominals scale 4     4/10
Egg Curl Version 2 Works the rectus abdominals and lower abdominals scale 4     4/10
Glute Dips Strengthens the torso and lower back scale 2     2/10
Shoulder Bridge Strengthens the torso and lower back scale 3     3/10
Oblique Side Curl Strenghtens the muscles down the waist scale 6     6/10
Supine Twist Strenghtens the muscles down the waist and middle scale 5     5/10
Plank Stengthens the core muscles scale 7     7/10
Side Bends Works the muscles down the waist scale 2     2/10
Roll Out Stengthens your core muscles scale 5     5/10
Ball Roll down Strenghtens the low and rectus abdominals scale 5     5/10
Cork Screw Strengthens Abdominal muscles scale 10    10/10
Ab Curl Version 2 Strengthens Abdominal muscles  Scale 3     3/10
Utimate Curl Strengthens upper and lower abdominal muscles scale 5    5/10
Ab Curl Ball 

                                                         
Primary Muscles:

Obliques,Rectus, Abdominus  ,
Transverse Abdominus

ab curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Rotator Cuff, obliques,
Lumbar Multifidus

Level of Difficulty: (5/10) 

scale 5

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Sit yourself on the ball so that your feet are directly below your knees and your back is upight. 
  • The feet should be shoulder width apart 
  • Slowly walk your feet forward, as you do so lower your upper body until you body is parellel to the floor 
  • Ensure that your bottom is in contact with the ball. 
  • Place one hand on your head and one hand on eyour thigh 
  • Raise your body and at the same time slide the arm aclong the thight towards the outside of the opposite knee. 
  • Momentarily pause and then lower body when returning to the starting position 
Teaching Points 
  • Initiate movement from the torso not the shoulders 
  • Avoid rounding the shoulders 
  • Keep eyes looking up and forward 
  • Keep your legs at 90° angle and feet under knees 
  • Keep the ball as still as possible. 
  • Breath out as you raise the body and breath in as you lower 

 

Adaptations 
  • Position your bottom slightly off the ball 
  • Widen your stance 
Progressions 
  • Position your bottom further towards the middle of the ball 
  • Bring your feet closer together 
  • Place a light dumbbell on your stomach 

Ob Curl Ball 


Primary Muscles:
 
Hip Flexors, Rectus Abdominals

oblique curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Rotator Cuff, Transverse Abdominals, obliques, Lumbar Multifidus                                         

Level of Difficulty: (5/10)  

scale 5

 Repetitions:  1 0-15 Reps - General toning
 
 

 Instructions 

  • Sit yourself on the ball so that your feet are directly below your knees and your back is upight. 
  • The feet should be shoulder width apart 
  • Slowly walk your feet forward, as you do so lower your upper body until you body is parellel to the floor  
  • Ensure that your bottom is in contact with the ball. 
  • Place one hand on your head and one hand on eyour thigh  
  • Raise your body and at the same time slide the arm along the thight towards the outside of the opposite knee. 
  • Momentarily pause and then lower body when returning to the starting position   
Teaching Points  
  • Reach your arm to the outside of the opposite knee 
  • Initiate movement from the torso not the shoulders  
  • Avoid rounding the shoulders  
  • Keep eyes looking up and forward  
  • Keep your legs at 90° angle and feet under knees 

  • Keep the ball as still as possible. 
  • Breath out as you raise the body and breath in as you lower  

 

 

 Adaptations 
  • Position your bottom slightly off the ball 
  • Widen your stance 
 Progressions 
  • Position your bottom further towards the middle of the ball  
  • Bring your feet closer together  
  • Place a light dumbbell on your stomach 

Jack Knife 

                     
Primary Muscles:
 
Obliques,Quadriceps, Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominus                                 

jack knife muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Pectorals, Shoulders, Arms

Level of Difficulty: (8/10)  

scale 8

Repetitions:   10-15 Reps - General toning
 
 

 Instructions 

  • Kneel on the floor with the ball out in front of you. 
  • Slowly roll your body onto the ball into you reach a press-up like position. 
  • Roll forward until your shins and ankles are in contact with the ball and your upper body is supported by your arms. 
  • When ready, roll the ball and bring your knees toward you and underneath your stomach
  • Then slowly extend the legs and return to the starting position 

Teaching Points 

  • Do not lock the arms, keep the elbow joint soft.
  • Look at a spot between your hands. Maintain neutral spine and core activation. 
  • Do not let your body sag down during the movement this will allow your back to take too much load.
  • Do not let your body arch up as this will take the load away from your abdominals 



 

 

 

 Adaptations  
  • Reduce  the number of repetitions 
 Progressions  
  • Add a press up in-between each repetition 

Egg Curl Ball

                                                          
Primary Muscles:
 
Rectus Abdominals, Hamstrings

egg curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Lower back               

Level of Difficulty: (4/10)   

scale 4

Repetitions:  1 0-15 Reps - General toning
    

 Instructions 

  • Lie on your back with your legs resting on top of the ball and upper body relaxed
  • Position your arms out to the side with your palms facing the floor.
  • When ready, press your ankles into the ball and lift the ball of the floors that you bring your knees toward your chest.
  • Ensure core muscles are activated and then slowly lower the ball back towards the floor
Teaching Points   
  • Exhale as you bring the ball toward you and inhale as you lower the ball towards the floor  
  • Keep the legs from swinging  
  • Ensure a controlled and slow movement  

 

  Adaptations 

  • Pla ce legs to the side of the ball 
  • Start with your legs extended and ankles resting on the ball - roll the ball towards you 

  Progressions

  • Do not let the ball touch the floor inbetween each repetition 
  • Raise your chest and shoulders off the floor throughout the exercise 

Reverse Crul

                                                           
Primary Muscles:
 
Rectus Abdominals, Hamstrings

SecondaryMuscles: 
Lower back

Level of Difficulty: (4/10)   

scale 4

Repetitions:   10-15 Reps - General toning
    

 Instructions 

  • Lie on your back with your arms resting by your side with the palms facing the floor  
  • Lif both your legs off the floor so that your thighs are pointing toward the ceiling and your shins are parellel to the floor  
  • Place the fitball on top of your shins (but not between)  
  • When ready, gently lower your legs moving your thighs away from the stomach.  
  • Slowly return the legs to the starting position  
Teaching Points   
  • Keep the angle of the knees at 90°  
  • For support press your lower back into the mat (imprint)  
  • Breath out as you lower the legs toward the floor and breath in as you return to the starting position 

 

 Adaptations 

  • Reduce the range of movement  
  • Place te ball inbetween your legs  

 Progressions

  • Lift your shoulders and back slightly off the floor as your bring the ball toward you  

Butt Drops Ball 

 


Primary Muscles:
 

 

SecondaryMuscles: 

 

Level of Difficulty: (2/10)  

scale 2

 Repetitions:  10-15 Reps - General toning    

 Instructions  

  • Sit yourself on the ball so that your feet are directly below your knees and your back is upight. 
  • The feet and knees should be shoulder width apart 
  • Slowly walk your feet forward, as you do so lower your upper body until you body is parellel to the floor and your shoulders are resting on the ball 
  • Place your hands on your hips 
  • Slowly lower your hips vertically down as far as your comfortably can 
  • Momentarily pause and then bring your hips back up to the starting position 
Teaching Points      
  • Keep your legs at 90° angle and feet under knees 

  • Keep the ball as still as possible. 
  • Inhale as you lower your hips and exhale as you raise them. 
  • Keep the body still with movement being initiated from the torso 

  Adaptations 

  • Widen your stance 

 Progressions

Lift one leg off the floor

Shoulder Bridge Balll


Primary Muscles:
 
Erector Spinae, Rectus Abs, Transverse Abs, Gluteus Maximus, Obliques

SecondaryMuscles: 
Gluteus Medius/Minimus (Abductors), Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Adductors         

Level of Difficulty: (3/10)  

scale 3

Repetitions: 1 0-15 Reps - General toning    

 Instructions  

  • Lie on your back with your legs outstretched and feet resting on the ball. 
  • Feet should be hip width apart 
  • Place your arms down by your side with your palms facing the floor. 
  • When ready lift your hips and bottom off the floor raising them uptowards the ceiling, 
  • Gently lower your hips back down towards the floor 
Teaching Points    
  • Engage the core muscles throughout  
  • Keep the legs and ball still  
  • Relax the upper body and arms  
  • Breath out as the body lifts off the floor and breath in as you lower 

  Adaptations 

  •  Decrease range of movement 

Progressions

  • Once the hips are raised off the floor, take one leg off the ball and hold for a couple of seconds before returning the foot back onto the ball. Then alternate.  
Oblique Curl on side 


Primary Muscles:
 
External Obliques

side muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Tranverse Abdominals

 

  Level of Difficulty: (6/10)  

scale 6

 Repetitions:  10-15 Reps - General toning    

 Instructions  

  • Lie on your side with the ball underneath your waist 
  • Keep your top leg outstretched and straight. Bottom leg should be bent with your knee resting on the floor 
  • Place your hands on the side of your head with your elbows pointing outwards 
  • Lifting from the torso and waist, raise your your upper body so that your top shoulder and elbow aim towards your extended leg. 
  • Momentarily pause and then return to the starting position. 

Teaching Points    

  • Avoid leaning forward or backward during the movement 
  • Exhale as you lift the body and inhale as you lower 

  Adaptations 

  • Place both your feet against a wall for support 

Progressions

  • Hold dumbells in each hand 

Supine Twist 


Primary Muscles:
 
Erector Spinae,  Obliques

side muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominus
 

 

  Level of Difficulty: (5/10)  

scale 5

 Repetitions:  10-15 Reps - General toning   

 Instructions  

  • Sit yourself on the ball so that your feet are directly below your knees and your back is upight. 
  • The feet should be shoulder width apart. 
  • Slowly walk your feet forward, as you do so lower your upper body until you body is parellel to the floor. 
  • Position your arms so that they are pointing upwards with your hands together. 
  • When ready slowly rotate your torso to one side moving the arms and chest at the same time.  
Teaching Points    
  • Hips must rotate together with the torso as one unit 
  • Exhale as you rotate the torso and inhale as you return to the centre 

  Adaptations 

  •  Widen your stance 

Progressions

  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands 
  • Move your feet closer together 

Plank Ball 


Primary Muscles:
 
Obliques,Quadriceps Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominus

plank muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Pectorals, Shoulders, Arms

Level of Difficulty: (7/10)  

scale 7

 Repetitions:   Hold for 15-60 seconds

 Instructions 

  • Kneel on the floor with the ball out in front of you.  
  • Place your elbows on the ball with your hands together in the praying position 
  • Inhale to prepare and as you exhale gently move your elbows away from the body and lift your knees off the floor 
  • Keep the body still and straight 
  • Hold the position for the desired time and then return back to the starting position 

Teaching Points

  • Do not let your body sag down as this will allow your back to take too much load 
  • Do not let your body arch up as this will take the load away from your abdominals. 

 

                                                                                                            



 

 Adaptations  
  • Reduce the number of repetitions 
 Progressions  
  • Add a press up in-between each repetition 

Side Bend Ball

                                                       
Primary Muscles:

Obliques,abdominals,hip and leg muscles and spinal erectors

side muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Core Muscles

Difficulty Level: (2/10) 

scale 2

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • This exercise works your obliques situated at the sides of your abdomen.

  • Take a weight in each hand and hold either side of the body with palms facing inwards (toward the body).

  • Sit on the ball with feet shoulder width apart and slowly bend to the side until you feel a stretch in the opposing side of the waist (obliques).

  • Return to the start position in a controlled manner and bend to the opposite side to work the other side of the body

  • Continue smooth controlled movements for the required repetitions.

Teaching Points 
  • Ensure you bend to the side only and not forward or back.
  • When performing the exercise do not speed up with repetitions, the action needs to be slow and controlled with no jolting, moving through the start position without stopping. 

 

Adaptations 
  • Perform the exercise seated 
Progressions 
  • Increase weight 
  • Decrease repetition speed 

Ball Roll Out

                                                      
Primary Muscles:
 
Obliques,Quadriceps, Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abs

plank muscles

SecondaryMuscles: 
Pectorals, Shoulders, Arms

Level of Difficulty: (5/10)  

scale 5

 Repetitions:  1 0-15 Reps - General toning
 
 

 Instructions

  • Kneel on the floor with the ball out in front of you. 
  • Place your elbows on the ball with your hands together in the praying position 
  • Keeping your knees on the floor gently move your elbows away from the body and lower your hips 
  • Hold the position momentarily and then return back to the starting position 

Teaching Points 

  • Breath out as you roll forward and breath in as you roll back 
  • Do not let your body sag down during the movement, this will allow your back to take too much load 
  • Do not let your body arch up as this will take the load away from your abdominals.   
     
     
 Adaptations  
  • Reduce the range of movement 
 Progressions  
  • Come up onto your toes 

Roll down

                                                       
Primary Muscles:

Rectus Abdominals, Quadriceps, Gluteals

plank muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Hip Flexors, TVA, deltoids, rotator cuffs

Level of Difficulty: (5/10) 

scale 5

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Lie in the set-up position and activate the pelvic floor and TVA muscles. 
  • Raise your legs in the air so that they are both bent at 90°. 
  • Place the fitball on top of your shins with your legs hip width apart. 
  • Inhale to prepare and as you exhale slowly extend your legs. 
  • At the same time bring your shoulders and upper back of the floor to an abdominal crunch position 
  • As the legs extend the ball wil slowly roll down the thighs. As the ball rolls across the stomach catch the ball with your hands. 
  • Replace the ball onto the shins and return to the starting position. 

Teaching Points

  • Keep the TVA muscles engages and compress the abdominal muscles 
  • The lower your legs are to the floor the more demanding the exercise becomes 
  • Alternate between a fast and slow roll of the ball changing the angle of legs accordiingly 

Adaptations 
  • Reduce the range of movement 
Progressions 
  • Come up onto your toes 

Corkscrew Ball 


Primary Muscles:

Abdominals, Hamstrings

plank muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Lower back, Adductor Muscles

Level of Difficulty: (10/10) 

scale 10

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Lie on your back with your arms resting by your side with the palms facing the floor 
  • Bend your legs with you feet placed either side of the ball 
  • Extend the legs so that they are extended toward the ceiling with the center of the ball touching your ankle bones. 
  • Keep pelvis neutral and arms extended by your sides on mat, palms down. 
  • Rotate ribcage to draw your legs toward right side of chest in a circular motion. 
  • Continue by bringing your pelvis off the mat and lifting ball over head so your arms and legs are extended in opposite directions. 
  • Curve the spine slightly to balance between shoulder blades. Move legs down to left side of chest and return to starting position. 
Teaching Points 
  • Start off with a slow range of movement and increase if competent. 
  • Keep the abdmincal contracted throughout 

Adaptations

  • Bend the legsduring the exercise 
  • Decrease the size of the circle 

Progressions

  • Increase the size of the circle 
Ab Curl Legs over ball 


Primary Muscles:

Rectus,Abdominus, Obliques Transverse Abdominus

ab curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Rotator Cuff, obliques,
Lumbar Multifidus

Level of Difficulty: (3/10) 

Scale 3

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Position yourself so that your legs on resting on the top of the ball 
  • Place your hands on your head or across the chest and lift your head, shoulders and spine 
  • Raise your body until you reach a 45 degree angle. 
  • Momentarily pause and then lower body when returning to the starting position  
Teaching Points 
  • Initiate movement from the torso not the shoulders 
  • Avoid rounding the shoulders 
  • Keep your eyes looking forward and up 
  • Keep your legs at 90° angle and feet under knees 
  • Keep the ball as still as possible. 
  • Breath out as you raise the body and breath in as you lower 
Adaptations 
  • Decrease the height which you come up 
Progressions 
  • Extend your legs and rest your ankles on the ball 

Ultimate Curl ball 


Primary Muscles:

Rectus,Abdominus, Obliques Transverse Abdominus

ab curl muscles

SecondaryMuscles:
Rotator Cuff, obliques,
Lumbar Multifidus

Level of Difficulty: (5/10) 

scale 5 

Repetitions: 10-15 Reps - General toning

Instructions

  • Lie on your back with your legs outstretched and ankles resting on the top of the ball 
  • Position your arms above the head beside the ears 
  • Inhale to prepare and as you exhale raise your shoulder and back off the floor and bring the arms past the ears towards the knees 
  • At the same time bend at the knee bringing the thighs toward your stomach 
  • Make a small ball shape with the body and take a breath to prepare. 
  • Exhales and return to the starting position 

Teaching Points

  • Avoid rounding the shoulders

  • Keep your eyes looking forward and up

  • Keep the TVA and pelvic floor engaged

  • Movement should be generated by the core muscles

  • Let the breathing dictate the speed of each repetition

Adaptations 
  • Keep the legs still and only lift the upper body 
  • Keep the arms down by yourside 
Progressions 
  • Don't let your shoulders touch the mat inbetween each repetition 

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