Be Active

Stability Ball Strength Training Workout

You've probably seen exercise balls lying around or being used in a gym, but what do you do with them? Exercise or stability balls have been in use since the 1960's, but have recently become popular among exercisers and fitness professionals alike. Stability balls can be used to improve balance, increase core strength, and provide variety to your workouts. (If you already have the correct size ball and know how to use it, check out our exercise ball workout routine.)

The instability that is found in exercise balls is what makes them so good for workouts. Most people spend their time supported by office chairs, car seats, couches, and in beds. This means that people tend to be weak in the core area. This translates to an increased risk of lower back injuries, as well as decreased strength and performance. Regularly performing the following exercises will help you begin to increase your core strength as well as the strength of your entire body.

The first thing that you should do is select the correct size of ball for you. This is based on your height and the purpose for which you will use the ball. Use the following chart to determine your size:

Your Height
Ball Diameter









If you are using the ball as a chair, you will typically choose one size larger, or one that will allow your thighs to be parallel to the floor as you sit. Using the ball as a chair requires you to maintain your balance and use your abdominal muscles much more than a chair does.

Your goal will determine how many sets and repetitions that you perform. For people who have the goal of gaining strength and burning calories, doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions will suffice. If you are trying to build muscle, you will want to work at a higher intensity, thoroughly exhausting your muscles at 8 repetitions.

Some exercises are simply easier to do with the ball. This may decrease the difficulty or help you learn the correct form without overwhelming you.

Exercises can become more challenging and involve more muscles by working on an unstable platform. Core muscles, the muscles that make up the midsection and provide stability to every movement we make, are challenged and become stronger when worked with the ball.

When first using a ball, start on a cushioned surface to reduce the movement of the ball. As you progress, moving to a firm surface will increase the difficulty of the movement.

The exercise ball is not for everyone. If you have difficulties with balance, have extreme back or neck problems or are pregnant, not all exercises will be for you. There are many other types of exercises, so consult an exercise specialist for the types that are best for you.

Other exercises are exclusive to the ball, allowing you to work muscles important for core stability. For strength to exist in the extremities, your core should be strong. Anytime you use the ball, you are utilizing your core muscles, but our exercise routine will help you focus specifically on your core. Exercise Ball Strength Training Activities

Workouts on the Web

Calculate Your BMI

Figure your Body Mass index (BMI) using your weight and height.
read more