5 gymnastic ball exer­cises for abdomen and back

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Before your gymnastic ball gathers dust in the corner, we recommend you bring it out again and try a few new exercises. Let us show you 5 effective exercises for your ab­dominal and back muscles.

The gymnastic ball: effective training

There are plenty of ways to tone our abdominal and back muscles effectively, this much we know. But particularly good results can be achieved with this classic piece of equipment. With its round shape and flexibility, the gymnastic ball demands control from the body’s core to the fingertips, and automatically strengthens those tiny stabilising muscles at the same time.

Beware of slipping!

  • When training with a gymnastic ball for the first time, you should first get used to the ball. To do this, sit on the ball and rock, alternately lifting your legs and stabilising your torso.
  • Train on a non-slip surface: depending on the flooring, you may need a mat.
  • Training barefoot will give you a particularly good grip – but it also works with shoes or socks. It's best to test the ball out on the mat and floor to find the best grip.
  • Repeat all exercises 3x10 times

Which gymnastic ball for which body size?

Body size Ball size
< 140cm 45cm
141 - 154cm 55cm
155 - 175cm 65cm
176 - 185cm 75cm
186 - 200cm 85cm
201 - 215cm 95cm

Exercise 1 for back of leg and buttocks

  1. Lie on the ground and place both calves on the ball. Place arms next to the body on the mat. Tighten the torso and slowly lift the buttocks.
  2. Bend the knees, pressing the buttocks upwards. Keep the neck relaxed!

Exercise 2: core stability

  1. Place both forearms parallel on the ball. Elbows are under the shoulders, knees bent under the hips. Pull the navel in slightly and then lift the knees. Be sure to keep the back stable and the neck long.
  2. Advanced level: Slowly extend arms while rolling the ball away from the knees. The torso remains stable even during this movement. The further you extend your arms forward, the greater the leverage and the more challenging it is for the torso.

Initially, hold the top position for only a few seconds and then lower the knees again. Raise your performance gradually: hold for 30 seconds at a time and repeat 10 times.

Exercise 3: «Ski jumper» for a complete back body

  1. Lie on your stomach on the ball. Place hands on the floor next to the ball, knees bent.
  2. Slowly lift the knees from the floor until the legs are stretched. At the same time straighten the upper body while keeping the arms stretched alongside the body. Keep the neck long and the gaze directed to the floor throughout the movement.

Exercise 4 for torso and shoulder muscles

  1. Get into a push-up position on the ball. Both shins rest on the ball. Activate abdominal muscles so that the back doesn’t sag.
  2. Pull both knees in the direction of the head and roll the ball forward, arching the back slightly. The strength of the movement comes from the abdominal muscles. Slowly roll back, ensuring that the torso remains stable.

Exercise 5: flat abdomen muscles

  1. Lie on your back on the middle of the ball. Hands on your chest or clasped behind your head. Chin forward in a slight ‘double-chin’ position. Keep the neck long.
  2. Slowly push the ribs down towards the tailbone using the abdominal muscles. The movement comes from the abdominal muscles. Hands remain relaxed behind the neck or on the chest.

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