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Using an Exercise Ball for Core Strength

There are many different ways to use an exercise ball to develop core strength. Since the exercise ball moves when you use it, your core muscles will help to stabilize the ball. Using an exercise ball on a regular basis can improve the strength of your abdominal muscles, as well as your back.

Abdominal Exercises

Performing an abdominal workout on an exercise ball is a popular method of training. Before you use the ball for an abdominal exercise, loosen up by doing a few upper body stretches. Also make sure that the ball is properly inflated before you start your workout.

To begin your abdominal routine, lie back on the ball so it is under the lower portion of your back. Keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you at shoulder width and lace your fingers behind your head. To start the first repetition, slowly sit up and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Hold for a count of one, then lower yourself back to the starting position. Try to do 10 repetitions.

After you finish the first set, rest for one minute and then place the exercise ball against a wall to do some side crunches. Lie across the ball on your left side, then extend your left leg out so it is parallel to the wall. Place your hands behind you an inch from the back of your head. Bring your right leg in close to the exercise ball and bend it at the knee, then place your right foot flat on the floor. You should already feel a stretch on the right side of your abdominal muscles.

To begin the exercise, lean up off of the ball and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Hold for a count of one, then lean back down on the ball. Do 10 repetitions, then switch positions and do 10 repetitions for the left side.

Back Exercises

You can also use an exercise ball to help strengthen your lower back. To do back extensions, lie down on the ball and position it under your lower chest and upper legs. Get into a push-up position to stabilize your body, then lift your arms up by your sides. To start the repetition, raise your upper body off of the ball until you feel your lower back tighten. Hold the position for a count of one, then lower yourself to finish the movement. Do 10 repetitions then stand up and stretch.

Once you are ready for the next low back exercise, get back on the ball in the push-up position so you can do reverse leg lifts. This time you will stay in the push-up position instead of placing your arms by your sides. To begin the exercise, lift both legs off of the floor at the same time until you feel your low back tighten. Hold for a one-count, then lower your legs back down but do not let them touch the floor. Repeat the movement for 10 repetitions.

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