Looking to elevate your at-home workout? Exercise balls, also called stability or yoga balls, offer variety and added intensity for a better “rounded” exercise. The large vinyl balls offer an unsteady workout surface to improve core strength and balance but are also great for toning your whole body.
Exercise balls are relatively affordable compared to other exercise equipment and can be incorporated into many of the workouts you’re probably already doing at home. Here are a few things you should know if you’re considering adding an exercise ball to your home gym.
Exercise Ball Brands
There are many exercise ball brands out there, and picking the best for your specific needs can be overwhelming. To help start your exercise ball search, here are three options at three different price points.
- All In Motion Stability Ball: This is an excellent mid-range priced exercise ball. It comes in three different sizes so that you can find the best fit for your height, weight, and workout goals. It comes with a pump for easy inflation and an exercise guide offering some tips for how to get the most out of your stability ball workout.
- DynaPro Professional Grade Exercise Ball: If you work out every day, this extra-thick, high-quality exercise ball may be for you. Made with high-quality materials, this ball is durable and long-lasting. It has been anti-burst tested to withstand up to 2,000 pounds and comes in several sizes to meet your height and workout needs.
- Five Below Series-8 Fitness™ Yoga & Exercise Ball: If you’re just beginning your fitness journey and are looking for a more budget-friendly exercise ball option, this $5 ball is a great way to try out some new workout moves.
Exercise Ball Exercises
Many workouts that are usually done on the floor, or without equipment, can be enhanced with an exercise ball. The round surface requires you to engage your muscles to remain balanced. Here are a few stability ball exercises that target your upper body, core, and legs for a total body workout at home.
Exercise Ball Crunch
Doing crunches on an exercise ball is a great way to strengthen and tone your abs, making it one of the best stability exercises. It engages your core more than a typical floor crunch, as your legs are less involved.
Start lying on the ball with it positioned under your lower back. You can place your arms behind your head or cross them over your chest. Contract your core muscles and pull the bottom of your rib cage toward your hips. The ball should remain stable as you crunch—lower your back to your starting position.
- Do 25 to 30 reps
Exercise Ball Hamstring Curl
This stability ball exercise is excellent for toning your legs and glutes. Adding a ball further engages your hamstrings to strengthen them more than a normal hip thrust.
Start by lying on your back with your calves and heels on the exercise ball. Set your arms palms down on the floor and place your feet hip-distance apart. Flex your ankles to lift your toes. Engage your glutes and move your hips upward until your body is straight. Slowly lift your hips, bend your knees, and pull your heels toward your glutes. Move the ball toward you until the soles of your feet touch the ball. Extend your knees and lower your hips back to the floor. For added intensity, lift one leg or cross your arms on your chest.
- Do 15 reps
Exercise Ball Push-Up
This exercise tones your chest and shoulder muscles. By doing planks and push-ups on unstable surfaces like an exercise ball, you also activate more core muscles than you would doing a standard push-up.
Start by laying with your chest on the stability ball. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the ball at the sides of your chest. Straighten your legs and place your toes on the floor. Push up on your hands to lift your body until your arms are almost straight. Do not lock your elbows. Hold for two seconds. Slowly lower your body to the starting position.
- Do 25 reps
Exercise Ball Wall Squat
This is one of the best stability ball exercises to strengthen your hips and your core. The rolling ball offers support for your back while activating your core muscles.
Stand with your feet at hip-width distance, slightly in front of your body, and place the exercise ball against the middle of your back and wall. Bend your knees as you roll your body down the ball, keeping your knees in line with your middle toes until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Pause for a second at the bottom and then press up with your heels to return to your starting position. For added intensity, hold a dumbbell in each hand while doing this exercise.
- Do 25 reps
Exercise balls can elevate your at-home workout. If you’re looking for a challenge and to further tone and strengthen your muscles, try incorporating a few stability ball exercises in your next workout session.