The Ultimate Full Body Stability Ball Workout For Beginners
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Want to know how to maintain a solid core, gain lean muscle, and protect your joints simultaneously after every workout? I’ve put together a simple full body stability ball workout for beginners. This way, you get to reap all its benefits and take your next exercises to an entirely new level.
Using a stability ball, also known as an exercise ball or a balance ball, in your workouts can help teach your body in moving as a single cohesive unit.
When doing stability ball workouts, the muscles in your core as well as those in your hips and shoulders are called to engage together and maintain your body’s stability through a full range of motion.
Stability has been defined as your body’s ability to effectively control the movement and positioning of your joints and its surrounding tissues. Therefore, increasing your stability gives you the stamina to carry out your exercises for a longer duration and with more strength.
This high level of stability is incredibly useful inside and outside of your workout space. Stable joints are less likely to get injured. They are strong enough to remain in proper form and position even during physically demanding movements.
Also, being capable of moving your body as one coordinated unit helps a lot when you’re engaged in athletic activities like weightlifting, gymnastics, or running, among others.
Benefits of Stability Ball Workouts
One of the main benefits of doing stability ball workouts is achieving balance over time. The knees, hips, and other major joints in the body set off your body’s stability as well as mobility, which is the ability to move freely.
Equipment like the stability ball help challenge your muscles that maintain your joints’ stability. As such, other benefits of stability ball training include:
Improving spinal stability
With consistent stability ball workouts, you can look forward to increasing your spine’s stability and reduce risks associated with back pain especially if you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle for a while now. According to the National Institute of Health "Stability ball training (SBT) is believed to improve spinal stability (SS) and could reduce the risk of back pain in sedentary individuals."
Many stability ball training exercises have been designed to work your spine and bring movement in a controlled manner to build up your discs and keep them nourished.
In addition, lower back injuries will typically restrict movement. They may also result in the deterioration of your lower back muscles. That’s why stability balls are an ideal option to bring back some gentle mobility.
They can be incorporated into a core-strengthening regimen to keep your spine’s surrounding muscles strong and stable. Moreover, these stability ball workouts will improve motion and help lower risks relating to injuries.
Activating more muscle fibers
Using the stability ball engages more muscles compared to standard exercises, let’s say a regular push-up.
You’re performing this push-up and struggling to maintain your control on an unstable surface. In turn, this forces your abdominal muscles to stimulate more muscle fibers and provide you with a fuller, more comprehensive ab exercise.
Female doing knee tucks with feet on a stability ball.
With stability ball training, you’re pretty much working more muscle fibers than you would when performing traditional movements on the floor.
Increasing cardio burn
Using a stability ball when you perform cardio workouts is a brilliant means of jumpstarting your heart rate. As stability balls are light to carry, you can simply incorporate this equipment into several fast-paced exercises so you can boost your burn.
Using stability balls in planks, squat jumps, burpees, and more can certainly amp up the intensity. They’re still definitely fun up-tempo exercises to perform plus they keep you energized and fast-moving throughout.
Improving sports performance
If you’re committed to your athletic endeavors, you’ll highly value the stability ball’s soft, unstable surface. It’s responsible for engaging your core structure, activating your core muscles, improving your body’s awareness when in motion, coordination, posture, and balance. The American College of Sports Medicine states "Stability balls provide an inexpensive, low-tech, lightweight, colorful, and fun means of improving core stability, muscular strength and endurance, balance, flexibility, and functional fitness."
These components can help develop proper movement patterns and be directly translated to an incredible improvement in sports and fitness performance and increased protection against injury.
How Do You Use A Stability Ball?
The stability ball is a highly versatile piece of equipment and can be used in many ways. It won’t take up much space so it’s a great addition to your home workout space.
If you’re used to doing exercises using a stable bench, performing your workouts with a stability ball will certainly get your core, hips, and shoulders going in a newly fired up way.
If you prefer to use the ball as a replacement for your chair at home or work, you can do so, too. This will work your muscles as they respond to the need to maintain your balance on the ball. It can stimulate the core muscles that are also crucial in stabilizing the spine.
Using the stability ball also helps reduce static loading on the spine. Do you ever notice how you unintentionally maintain a certain posture for a long duration? Well, applying this posture for so long on a certain body part, like your spine, means it’s not given enough rest. This can result in fatigue and extra pressure on your muscle fibers.
In addition, stability balls enable adequate movement when working your abs and rolling out your hamstrings.
It can also be used as a type of weight with which you can pass it from one side of your body to the other or turn it over between your hands and feet.
What Size of the Stability Ball Should I Get?
Before buying your stability ball or grabbing one at the gym, make sure you’re using one that fits you right. Just as with all training equipment, your stability ball must work well with your body.
Female doing a press up shoulder press with feet on stability ball.
When finding the perfect size, you have to consider your height so you can maximize your stability ball workout. Make sure you inflate the ball to the right size- it should be firm to the touch but not excessively rigid. Using a tape measure is the best way of checking these measurements:
If your height is 5’ to 5’5”, your stability ball should be at 55 cm.
For those whose height is at 5’6” to 5’11”, the stability ball should be at 65 cm.
If you’re as tall as 6’ to 6’3”, your stability ball should be at 75 cm.
Manufacturers of stability balls may have varied recommendations when it comes to the height-ball diameter measurements.
If you want to rely on how you feel with your equipment, try sitting on the ball. Can you see your hips and knees? If they’ve formed a right angle with the ground, then this is the stability ball for you.
Top Stability Ball Workouts
I’ll run you through some of my favorite stability ball workouts that have been proven to be effective time and again.
Your reps and sets will vary depending on your fitness level. For a beginner to intermediate level, I recommend doing 1o to 20 reps for 3 to 5 sets. After you’ve completed several workouts, try to amp up the reps so you can really test your strength and stability.
Ready to move? These exercises will take your stability beyond the basic ball circles and traditional crunches.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
This movement will increase strength in your glutes and hamstrings while working your core as well.
How to Perform:
Your starting position should be lying down with your back flat on the floor. The back of your calves should be positioned on top of the stability ball with your legs kept straight.
Engage your core and firmly squeeze your glutes so you can lift your hips off of the floor. This way, your body creates a straight line from your shoulders up to the heels.
Drag your heels so you can roll the ball close to your glutes or until your knees develop 90-degree angles.
After a slight pause, slowly make your legs straight while rolling your feet away from your glutes. You’ll find yourself returning to the starting position.
Stability Decline Push-up
This is an advanced version of a decline push-up that will give your core and arms a good challenge. You must be capable of performing traditional push-ups properly before engaging in this movement.
How to Perform:
Set yourself at a high-plank position. Keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders while your toes should be on top of the stability ball. Keep your core steady and firmly squeeze your glutes. This will help keep your body in a straight line from the head to your toes throughout the movement.
Bend your elbows and move your chest downwards toward the ground. Your elbows should be kept tucked close to your body while upper arms should be parallel to the ground. When viewed above, the elbows should create a 45- degree angle to your trunk.
Return to the plank position by pressing your arms straight.
Stability Ball Wall Squat
This exercise builds stability through your core and hips while increasing strength in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Try holding each rep for as long as you can or consecutive, uninterrupted reps.
How to Perform:
In a standing position, keep your feet hip-width apart. Your stability ball should be positioned between the center of your back and a wall. Position your feet slightly in front of your body.
Bend your knees and roll your body down the ball. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground while your knees should be proportional to your middle toes.
After a slight pause, hold down your heels and return to the starting standing position.
If you prefer to make it extra challenging, hold a dumbbell in each of your hands.
Stability Ball Russian Twist
This movement has always been associate with an improvement in core stability and rotational strength.
How to Perform:
Lie down with your upper back on the stability ball. Keep your feet flat on the floor while your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage and keep your core steady. Extend your hips so your trunk creates a straight line from your head to the knees.
Straighten out your arms above your chest and keep your palms pressed together. This will be your starting position.
Turn your torso to roll onto one shoulder while you raise the other shoulder from the ball. Keep your hips square with the floor.
Reverse the movement so you can go back to the starting position.
On your next rep, roll onto the opposite shoulder.
Stability Ball Rollout
This may seem like a pretty easy movement but this rollout will fire up your abs as it works on your core strength and stability.
How to Perform:
Position your hands on a stability ball. Kneel with your knees hip-width apart and keep your toes firmly on the floor.
Keep your back flat and your core steady. Do not move your knees but do slowly roll forward for the ball to come close to your forearms. Your body will form a straight line from your head to your knees.
After a slight pause, roll back to your starting position.
Key Points to Remember
Whether you’re at home, at work, or in the gym, you can get a kick out of stability balls, thanks to their versatility. Your options when performing stability ball workouts are endless.
Aside from being versatile and highly convenient, you can incorporate stability ball training to practically any movement, basic or advanced. If you’ve just started out with stability ball workouts, using this equipment in your high-powered planks, squats, and push-ups will leave you energized and satisfied.
I recommend stability ball training to be a part of everyone’s training program, whichever health and fitness benefits you’re looking forward to gaining. It’s a big help in strengthening your body and preventing injury. These workouts are so much fun too because you’re not just hyped-up but you’ll also be impressed with yourself at how quickly you improve in your moves, trust me.
Make sure you choose the right size of the stability ball to maximize the most of your training.
Keep a proper form and follow the correct technique when exercising. Be aware of your breathing. Make sure you keep your breaths and movements in a relaxed yet controlled manner. When bracing your core, always maintain a strong contraction.
To effectively produce results in terms of gains, perform your core workout about twice or three times a week.