Two Physioball Workouts to Improve Full-Body Strength

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Physioball Plank

Physioball workouts can be a refreshing addition to your traditional strength training program. A physioball creates an unstable surface for any exercise, which means your core and other stabilizer muscles are forced to engage to maintain balance. As a bonus, when you perform an exercise, like a Dumbbell Press, on a physioball, your whole body works as a unit to perform the movement and maintain a balanced position—just like in sports.

Below are two physioball workouts that can complement any weight training program. I recommend performing one of them  toward the end of your training session. It will help transfer your strength improvements from heavy weight exercises into full-body movements that can be used in nearly every skill on the field, court or rink.

Perform each physioball routine one day per week during the second half of an upper-body workout.

Workout 1

Superset Physioball Push-Ups and Plank.

Physioball Push-Ups (Hands on Ball)

  • Assume Push-Up position with hands on physioball
  • Perform Push-Up; keep core tight
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Physioball Plank (Forearms on Ball)

  • Assume plank position with forearms on physioball
  • Push physioball with forearms to roll forward two to three inches
  • Pull physioball with forearms to roll backward two to three inches
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each direction

Physioball Rear-Foot-Elevated Split-Squat

  • Stand in lunge or stride position with back foot on physioball
  • Bend front knee to lower into lunge position until thigh is parallel to ground; keep front knee behind toes
  • Extend hip and knee to drive up to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg

Physioball Glute Bridge

  • Lie on back with feet on physioball
  • Extend hips to raise body into straight line so only shoulder blades touch floor
  • Hold position for specified time

Sets/Duration: 3x30-60 seconds

Workout 2

Superset Physioball Push-Ups and Plank

Physioball Push-Ups (Feet on Ball)

  • Assume Push-Up position with feet on physioball
  • Perform Push-Up; keep core tight
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Physioball Plank (Feet on Ball)

  • Assume plank position with feet on physioball; hold position
  • Rock back and forth for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each direction

Physioball Single-Leg Balance

  • Sit on physioball with knees bent at 90-degree angle, feet flat on floor and arms extended in front at shoulder level
  • Raise right foot two to three inches off ground and hold for specified time
  • Lower foot to ground
  • Perform with opposite leg

Sets/Duration: 3x30-60 seconds

Single-Leg Overhead Physioball Squats

  • Assume athletic single-leg stance with physioball held overhead
  • Bend at hip and knee to lower into Squat; keep physioball directly overhead
  • Drive up out of squat to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x15 each leg

Superset Side Lunge With Physioball Twist and Physioball Single-Arm, Single-Leg Raise

Side Lunge With Physioball Twist

  • Assume athletic position, holding physioball with arms extended at chest level
  • Step right and lower into side lunge with knee behind toes; simultaneously rotate physioball to right
  • Drive up out of side lunge and assume athletic position
  • Rotate physioball to center
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each side

Physioball Single-Arm, Single-Leg Raise

  • Assume Push-Up position with hands on physioball
  • Raise right arm and left leg into air; hold for specified time
  • Perform with opposite arm and leg

Sets/Duration: 3x10 seconds each side

Photo:  kpfgmbh.de

Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PHYSIOBALL | STABILITY AND BALANCE | WORKOUTS | HEALTH | EXERCISE