Summer Sessions at PureGym: Total Body Stability Ball Circuit Challenge
It might look like something a child would play with but the stability ball is a fantastic piece of kit that will help you improve your core strength, stability and balance.
Also known as an exercise ball, Swiss ball or gym ball, the flexible PVC material is strong enough to fully support your body weight and flexible enough to use a variety of different ways. For example, you've probably seen them used in a number of gym classes such as yoga and Pilates, plus some people use them as replacement chairs to improve their posture.
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So how does it work? In a nutshell, because it's a ball it's an unstable surface which forces you to work harder to stay balanced. As a result, your abs, glutes, shoulders, hips and thighs get a great workout.
Stability balls are also great fun. Who wouldn't want to play around with an over-sized bouncy ball?! As we all know, adding fun and variety to your workouts is the best way to stay motivated, so grab your stability ball and let's have some fun!
What is the Total Body Stability Ball Circuit Challenge?
To warm up and get used to the stability ball, sit on it with your feet hip distance apart and back straight. Keep your hands lightly touching the ball either side of you and bounce up and down. As you get more confident, bounce higher - we said this challenge was fun!
Then, stand in front of the stability ball with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, squat down to pick up the ball, stand up and lift the ball above your head. Repeat 10 times.
Once you feel ready to start, complete the following exercises one after the other without rest. Repeat the circuit five times.
1) Wall-squat (30 seconds)
Roll your stability ball up a wall and lean back against it, pushing with your lower back. With your hands on your hips, walk your feet in front of you and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground keeping your abs tight, then return to the start position. Repeat for 30 seconds.
2) Balance push up with both feet on the ball (15 reps)
Kneel in front of the ball, then roll forward on to it and walk your hands forward until you are in a push-up position with both feet on the ball. The further you walk your hands forward, the harder the push-up will be, so choose a position you're comfortable with. Keep your core tight and body straight like a plank as you bend your elbows and push-up again to the start position. Perform 15 reps.
3) Hamstring curls (15 reps)
Lie face up with your arms either side of you and your heels on the stability ball. Keep your abs tight as you lift your hips off the floor, then bend your knees so the ball rolls towards you. Then slowly straighten your legs to roll the ball back to the start position. Repeat 15 times.
4) Plank to pike (15 reps)
Kneel in front of the ball, then roll forward on to it and walk your hands forward until you are in a plank position with toes pointing down on the ball. Keeping your legs straight and core tight, lift your hips towards the ceiling and bring your head down so you're looking at the ball. Then return to the start position. Repeat 15 times.
5) Lower back extensions (10 reps)
Kneel in front of the ball, then roll forward on to it so your stomach is on the ball. Your feet should be wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor for stability. Hold your hands by your ears as you lower your upper body towards the ground, then exhale as you come up. Repeat 10 times.
Once you've finished the challenge cool down with some more bouncing. Well, you've earned a bit more fun!
Send us a stability ball selfie
Send us a selfie of you on a stability ball and include the hashtag #BringingIt for a chance to be featured on our #BringingIt gallery.
Looking for more workout inspiration? Take a look at our free exercises section which includes a step-by-step guide on how to perform exercises safely and correctly.
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Model in the videos showcased above: Ben Winn, PT at PureGym Leeds City Centre South