Using the Swiss ball will give you some distinct advantages over other pieces of equipment or bodyweight alone. It can extend the range of motion when you do a crunch, activating more muscles in your abs. 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. Trust us, it's heavy enough to make an impact.

How it works

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 abs workouts leave untouched.

Directions

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.

 

Stability Training Ab Workout

1. Rollout

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.

2A. Elbow circle

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.

2B. Crunch

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.

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.

3B. Legs on ball crunch

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.