The Swiss ball gives some distinct advantages over other pieces of equipment or bodyweight alone. It can extend the range of motion on the crunch, activating more ab muscle. It can also create instability, which forces your abs to contract harder to brace your body, and even serve as a source of resistance itself—like a weight—if you lift it. (Don’t think it’s heavy enough to give you a good workout? Try the V-up and pass on the next page and then tell us.)

The ball will act as a surface, a weight, and an exercise machine in this workout, recruiting the abs, obliques, and transverse abdominis—a deep core muscle that’s critical to a strong midsection and pain-free back—which most conventional ab workouts leave untouched.

Perform the paired exercises (marked “A” and “B”) as supersets. So you’ll do one set of A and then B before resting. Complete all the prescribed sets for the pair before moving on.

The WORKOUT >>> [PAGE 2]

The Best Suspension Trainer Ab Workout >>>


Stability Training Ab Workout

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 90 sec.
Rest your forearms on the Swiss ball and extend your legs behind you. Brace your abs and roll the ball forward as you extend your arms and hips. When you feel you’re about to lose tension in your abs, roll yourself back.

Sets: 3 Reps: 5 (each way) Rest: 0 sec.
Get into pushup position, resting your forearms on the ball. Brace your abs and move your elbows in a circular pattern, rolling the ball beneath them. Complete five circles in a clockwise motion and then repeat counterclockwise.

Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 90 sec.
Lie back on the ball with feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Your lower back should be supported by the ball. Place your hands behind your ears and tuck your chin. Curl your body up off the ball until you’re sitting up.

Three Ways to Sharpen Your Abs >>>

3A. V-UP and PASS
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on your back on the floor and hold the ball between your ankles. Extend your arms behind your head. Sit up while raising your legs simultaneously and pass the ball from your legs to your hands. Go back down to the floor and repeat, passing the ball from your hands to your legs. Each pass is one rep.

Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 90 sec.
Lie back on the floor and drape your legs over the ball with hips and knees bent. Crunch your torso up to meet your legs.