Stuck in a rut when it comes to working your core? A physioball core workout is a great way to liven things up and provide some extra oomph. It strengthens your core muscles and provides extra abdominal support for your back.
Here are five physioball core exercises to get you started. Perform them at the start of your workout regimen with at least a 3-minute warm-up.
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Physioball Wall Squat
This exercise specifically targets the hamstrings and quadriceps, while also activating and stabilizing the glutes. When you engage your glutes, you lengthen your hip flexors and strengthen your back.
- In a seated or squat position, hold the ball against a wall with your back.
- Perform a Squat while maintaining a straight back. Use the ball to propel yourself from the ground with your gluteal muscles.
- Take your time. Breathe throughout the movement. Keep your feet in a fixed position so you can fire your quadriceps, increase your leg muscle strength and strengthen your back.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 8-20 repetitions.
This exercise is an alternative method to train the inner thighs, or adductors and abductors, without the use of a machine. You promote torso stability and strengthen your inner thighs to aid in rotational movements, which are important for daily living.
- Lie down on the floor.
- Flex your knees, place the physioball between your legs and squeeze your knees together to capture the ball.
- Lift your legs into the air with your knees flexed.
- A progression: flex your knees further while the ball is between your legs, as if forming an “L.”
- Perform 1-2 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
Physioball Back Extension
- Lie face down on the physioball, covering it with your core and abdominal muscles while flexing your knees on the floor or against a wall to provide balance.
- Extend (but do not hyperextend) your back while lying on the physioball. Raise your torso only to the point of encouraging a straight back.
- A progression: finish the movement while lying prone on the ball with your arms and legs together and fully extended in a Superman pose.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 5-30 repetitions.
This exercise incorporates multi-joint movement, forcing you to remain in a fixed position (compared to single-joint movements, which tend to be less effective). It strengthens your rectus abdominus, giving your body a stable foundation to become stronger, because you’re encouraging spinal stability.
- Lie face up on the physioball, covering the ball with your back while flexing your knees and placing your feet on the floor to promote balance.
- Cross your arms across your chest or place your hands on your head, whichever is easier.
- Crunch up.
- Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Physioball Side Bridge
This exercise strengthens the abdominal and back muscles, which can enhance your performance in your sport.
- Lie face down on the physioball, covering the ball with your abdominal muscles.
- Remain on the ball to promote balance while performing a lifting motion with your obliques and transverse abdominus muscles.
- Perform 2-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions.