Exercise Ball Ab Workouts

Get on the Fast Track to a Tighter Stomach

Exercise ball ab workouts can be used to tighten and tone every core muscle of the body. Since the body has to activate additional muscles to stabilize itself, exercises become more effective, so you will burn more calories and reach inner core muscles more effectively.

 Also known as fitness balls or stability balls, these simple tools are very inexpensive, yet they are one of the most effective pieces of exercise equipment that you will ever use. 

Trying to stay on the fitness ball can be challenging – it's harder than it looks and you will probably have a few falls worthy of America's Funniest Home Videos - but once you master it, you will be amazed at the improvement in your strength, balance, and agility. 

Exercise Ball Ab Workouts

Basic Crunch

Exercise Instructions:

  • Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Cross your arms over your chest or rest them on your stomach. 

  • Keeping your back straight, lean back to tighten abdominal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds then return to starting position. Repeat for desired number of reps.

exercise ball ab workouts crunch position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Exercise Ball Crunch
exercise ball ab workouts crunch position #2


  • With all of these core exercises, breathe out as you engage your abs, and breathe in when you return to your starting position.

  • Fitness ball crunches can be easier if you position lower on the ball. If balance is an issue you can widen your base by moving your feet apart further.

Exercise Ball Side Plank

This plank exercise can work the full-body with a focus on your abs. Before doing a pike plank on a fitness ball, you should able to do the plank efficiently on the floor.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start in a plank position lying across the exercise ball with your body and legs in a straight line.

  • Walk yourself forward so that your knees end up directly on top of the center of the ball. The further you go forward the higher the pike position you will assume.

  • Hold for 15-45 seconds and return to the extended plank position. Try and do 3-8 reps on each side.

exercise ball side plank position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Exercise Ball Side Plank
exercise ball side plank position #2


  • You can gradually move higher and higher as you become more balanced on the ball.

More on Side Planks

Exercise Ball Side Crunch

Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie sideways on the exercise ball with your feet braced and your hands behind your ears.

  • Lift your shoulders and upper torso to do a crunch sideways and lower yourself down after a brief pause.

  • Complete your reps and repeat the exercise on your other side.

exercise ball side crunch position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Exercise Ball Side Crunch
exercise ball side crunch position #2

Medicine Ball Woodchopper

The medicine ball woodchopper is an explosive exercise that works several muscle groups including the lower back, abs, obliques, butt and upper leg muscles.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a medicine ball in front of your hips.

  • Bend your hips and act like you are going to throw the ball back between your legs.

  • Now push your hips forward to swing the ball above your head as pictured below.

  • Allow the ball to freely fall back down between your legs for another rep.

medicine ball woodchopper position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Woodchopper
medicine ball woodchopper position #2
medicine ball woodchopper position #3


  • It is important that you focus on your hips making a back and forth motion to maintain the momentum of the ball.

  • Try to get your momentum working so that you are not lifting the ball with your arms, let your hips do the work.

Benefits of Exercise Ball Ab Workouts

  • Back Pain Relief - Many trainers and fitness experts will often encourage exercise ball ab workouts for people with back pain since the soft surface can be easier on the hips and lower back and may even protect the spine from injury. 
  • Core Strength - Even when you are just sitting on the ball, your core is working hard just to keep balance. These muscles also help to stabilize your spine.

  • Muscle Balance and Tone - You can tone and work your muscles evenly, featuring your arms and legs in different positions and movements with the ball.

  • Convenience - Just sitting on the ball while watching television or reading will improve your posture and strengthen your core. If you work at a desk, try replacing your chair with a stability ball. It might feel a little awkward at first, but you will get used it. Many people find that this switch also helps them from becoming stiff and sore after sitting for long periods of time.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum

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