There is so much you can do to keep your body in shape and strong, even when you’re stuck inside your house for yet another snow day! A great portable and inexpensive piece of equipment to have around the house is a stability ball. Below is one of my favorite routines to challenge my core and get me sweating. Make sure you can hold a basic plank on the floor before you attempt these and then give it a try! Complete 2 sets of 10-20 reps with no more than 10-20 second rest between each movement. All movements should be executed with slow control.
Stability Ball Plank Variations:
1. Start in Plank position with your forearms on the stability ball, elbows positioned under the shoulders. Make sure you are lifting your chest off the ball and engaging your abs. Hold for 10-20 counts. 2. Still in your plank, stabilize the lower half of your body, and shift your forearms forward and back so that the ball moves forward and back simultaneously. 3. Still holding your plank, stabilize your upper body and pivot back and forth on your toes (heel lifts) so that the ball moves forward and back. 4. Get into a pushup position plank with your feet on the ball, hands on the floor. Your hands should be directly under shoulders, and slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Engage your abs and tuck knees into your chest. Slowly extend back to your plank and repeat.
5. Ball Hamstring Curl-Transition so you are lying on your back with your feet propped up on the stability ball. Your legs should be straight and arms down by your side. Slowly peel your hips off the floor so you are holding a reverse plank position. Keep your hips lifted and bend your knees to pull the stability ball towards your gluts. Keeping your hips high slowly extend your legs back out to your reverse plank. Repeat
6.Ball Leg lowers-Next, squeeze the ball between your ankles and lift the ball so that your legs are straight up in the air directly over your hips. With the ball still between your ankles, tighten your abdominal muscles and lower your legs to about 45 degrees. Pause, then return back to 90. Make the movement as small as necessary in order to stabilize your pelvis and not strain your lower back. Repeat
7. Ball Pass-off-Continuing from the last movement...your ankles are squeezing the ball and your legs are straight in the air above your hips. Engaging your abs, tuck your chin and round up in a crunch position to grab the ball. Round back so your legs lower to 45 degrees, and your arms reach behind. Draw your navel in and round back up to place the ball back between your ankles. Repeat.