Upper Ab Exercises: How to Do a Stability Ball Crunch

The stability ball crunch is an exercise that strengthens the abs and targets the rectus abdominus muscles. It is also regarded as one of the most effective upper ab exercises. It is more effective than the conventional crunches done while lying on the floor since the abs performs more work when using the stability ball.

How to Perform the Stability Ball Crunch

  • Grab a stability ball. Lie on it with feet flat on the floor. Feet must be parallel and knees bent to approximately 90 degrees. Let the ball support your lower back with your head and buttocks just off the ball.
  • Cross your arms and place them over the chest or place them behind the head. Maintain this position all throughout the exercise. Your head must be aligned with the spine.
  • Exhale. Tighten your abs and lift your head as well as your shoulders off the ball. Try to keep the neck relaxed and your feet planted to the ground. Ensure that the ball remains stable and not roll. Maintain your balance and hold this position momentarily.
  • Inhale gently and slowly return to the original position by lowering your spine to the ball. Do this in a controlled manner.

If balancing on the ball is difficult, you may move your feet apart to widen the base of support. Once your balance skills are improved, try to reduce your base of support. You can do this by moving your feet closer to each other, thereby increasing the balance challenge.

Increasing Intensity

Prior to increasing the intensity, be sure that you can do at least three sets of 15 reps. Increasing the intensity quickly can lead to major injury. When it is time for you to increase intensity, extend your arms over your head while ensuring that your arms are in line with your spine.

When done right, upper ab exercises such as stability ball crunches can help increase the strength of your core and help tone it.


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