Fitness exercise balls are great pieces of equipment that can be used to work almost any muscle in the body. For stronger, sleeker abs, try the 3 exercises described below.
1. Crunch Ups
Crunch ups are a great, basic exercise that can be done by almost anyone and are a great way to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, start by sitting on the center of an exercise ball. Make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground, and you are sitting tall on the ball. Lace your fingers together behind your head and neck, supporting this area. If this is your first time exercising with a fitness exercise ball, you may want to ask for a spotter.
Take a few deep breaths. As you inhale your next breath, slowly lean back, lowering your back body toward the ground. Next, as you inhale, use the muscles of your core to lift your body back up to the starting position. Do at least ten repetitions before taking a short break. Perform another two sets of ten repetitions in order to achieve optimal results with the crunch ups.
2. Angled Planks
A slightly more advanced exercise that can be done with a fitness exercise ball is an angled plank. These are a great exercise because they don't require you to perform the same move over and over. Instead, you simply get your body into the correct position, and hold it there. Start by placing an exercise ball in the center of a cleared space. Instruct a friend or fellow gym member to hold the ball, making sure that it is sturdy.
Place both elbows are forearms on the center of the top of the exercise ball. Now, carefully step your feet back approximately three feet. You should now be in a straight line from your head to your feet, with your elbows resting on the ball and your body at a slight angle. When you are ready, instruct your spotter to carefully remove their hands from the ball. Use the muscles in your core to hold yourself steady in this position without letting the ball roll away for at least twenty seconds. Take a short break, and perform the exercise again.
3. Leg Drops
Finally, leg drops are a challenging core exercise that will give you a great workout. Start by laying down on a yoga or exercise mat. Lift your legs towards the sky, and place a fitness exercise ball near your rear. Rest your legs on the ball, with your knees bent and your calves resting comfortably on top of the ball. Next, grip this ball by squeezing the back of your thighs and calves together. Take a deep breath, and slowly lift the ball off the ground. As you exhale your breath, lower the ball back towards the ground without ever letting it touch the mat completely. Perform at least ten repetitions before taking a short break. Do another two sets of ten repetitions for best results.