Exercise balls can provide you an incredible full body workout with many benefits. By using an exercise ball instead of a traditional workout bench, you will work your trunk in almost every exercise helping to improve your balance, posture, body awareness, core strength and coordination. The good news is they aren’t very expensive and you can pick them up at most sporting goods or department stores. 

Here are a few exercises that will work your entire body

Stability Ball Chest Press + Bridging

Start by sitting on the exercise ball while holding your hand-weights.

Now, slowly start to curl backwards and move your feet outwards until you are lying over the ball with your head, neck and shoulder blades comfortably supported on the ball.

Your feet should be positioned right under your knees and your hips should be lifted up and square to the ceiling.

By holding this position, you will be working your hamstrings (back of thigh), gluteals (buttocks) and your core (abs and back).

Start with your arms extended upwards so that your wrists and elbows are directly above your shoulder with your thumbs facing each other.

Now, slowly lower the hand-weights so that your elbows travel out to the side.

The movement finishes when your upper arm is parallel to the floor and your wrist is positioned right over your elbow.

*Note* your elbow should not drop lower than your shoulder joint.

Slowly return to the starting position.

Keep your abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise.

Repeat 8-15x.

Stability Ball Reverse Flies

Start by laying over the exercise ball on your stomach.

Try to keep your back neutral so that you are not slouched over the ball.

Keep your chest up, shoulders back and abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise to help support your back.

Holding a pair of hand-weights and keeping your elbows slightly bent, slowly lift your arms up and out to the side.

Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together as much as you can at the upper part of the movement.

Slowly return to starting position.

Repeat 8-15x. 


Seated Bicep Curl

Sit on the exercise ball making sure to sit perfectly upright.

Your abdominals should be contracted, your chest lifted up and out and your shoulders back.

Imagine that as you sit there is a rope extended from your head to the ceiling so that you sit as tall as you can.

Once you are in this starting position, you can begin the exercise.

Holding hand-weights with your arms at your side, slowly curl your hands upward towards your shoulders.

Repeat 8-15x with a weight sufficient to fatigue the front arm muscles. 


Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

Lay on your back with your feet positioned on the exercise ball.

With your arms at your side, slowly lift your hips and buttocks up towards the ceiling while contracting your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thigh) until your body weight is resting comfortably on your shoulder blades.

Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips square to the ceiling and your abdominals contracted.

Now, slowly curl the ball in towards your body while maintaining control and stability through your core area.

Slowly curl out and in 8-15x.  


Stability Ball Inner Thigh Squeezes

Straddle the exercise ball from behind positioning your knees out to the side and underneath your hips.

Your feet should be behind you with your toes touching the ground helping to maintain your balance.

Keeping your abdominals contracted and maintaining perfect, upright posture, slowly squeeze your knees together contracting your adductors (inner thigh).

Perform 8-15 reps.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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