Stability Ball Workout

by Marianne  - September 13, 2010

Hi everyone,

Andrew and I have been working together this week again. The topic this time is Stability Ball exercises and the very effective workouts you can do with this inexpensive piece of equipment.  The benefits of working out on a ball are that it creates an unstable base, on which it is more difficult to maintain balance while performing exercises. In order to stabilise yourself, you then need to engage more muscle groups and the core, therefore increasing the overall impact of the exercises on the whole body.

Andrew has outlined his Top 10 Stability Ball Exercises and I have taken some of those exercises and put together an example of a workout you can do with them on their own, or combining them with Kettlebells, bodyweight, or other training you do in order to improve the overall functioning of muscles groups together.  Even though the workout had no cardio in it, I was sweating from the constant balancing throughout (especially the Bulgarian Squats).

There are 3 rounds of 6 exercises in this workout. Each round is slightly different as the effort interval will increase each time. Using my Gymboss Interval Timer I set 6 cycles of 10 seconds “rest” and 20 effort (round one), then 10/30 for round 2, and 10/40 for the final round. There is very little time between intervals so it’s not possible to write down scores. Feel free to play about with the effort intervals – I think in hindsight 20 seconds effort is too short, it might be better to start with 30 seconds.

Anyway the 6 exercises are:

  1. Stability Ball Press Up
  2. Stability Ball Crunch
  3. Stability Ball Dolphin
  4. Stability Ball Jack-knife
  5. Stability Ball Bulgarian Squat (right)
  6. Stability Ball Bulgarian Squat (left)

For a short workout like this I was surprises at how taxing it was. This would complement a Tabata, or to have intervals of KB swings in the mix just to bulk it out and intensify the heart rate that bit more.  You can pick and mix exercises from Andrew’s post and come up with your own workouts too. I can tell you that the Stability Ball Leg Curls are a great exercise.

I hope you enjoyed this different workout and I will be back soon with a new workout 🙂

Talk to you all soon



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  1. I’ve been looking for a example of the jack knife everywhere. Thanks for including it in your list. Also the dolphin exercise was new to me as well. I’m definitely going to add it to my workout.

  2. Hey Marianne, I was going thru the older videos to find some easier workouts that I could do. I love this one. My balance is really good, since before surgery I had incorporated alot of basu work. For some reason the work with the stabilty ball seems to be easier for me on my abs than the regular squats and lunges. Not sure why, maybe you can explain. Maybe because I am going slower and really concentrating on holding the core rather than going quicker and doing more reps and burning myself out. Any way this is a good one for me to build on. Hoping in a couple of weeks time I can add some weights in. Trying to pace myself lol. Thanks!. I am also going ot go back to the basic one you said you made for your mom. I need to find a way to build up to the burpees!

    1. Hi Fran,

      It could be because the core is worked differently in these exercises than they would in my usual type of workout. Your core can be strong in one exercise and not another. Like you can be strong in a plank hold, but weak in a side bridge hold, or a supine bridge hold. This might explain why you are stronger with these, or it could be the pace, as you said.

      You know my mum never even did that workout 🙁 But it would be suitable for her to try, if she “had the time” lol.


  3. Pingback: Abdominal Exercises - Stability Ball Ab Exercises : Stability Ball Ab Exercises: Advanced Oblique Curls
  4. Hi Marianne, I just wanted to thanks you for the brilliant work that you are doing with this website. After months of “zuzaning”, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see that there are still some girls who, even though they are pretty and attractive, prefer to focus on real fitness rather than “butting” and “boobing” in front of the camera.

    Anyway, your workouts are very inspiring and – though I am definitely not as strong as you are – I am trying some of them and enjoying them a lot. I workout much less though: about 3 times a week.


    1. Thanks Bianca for all your encouragement, it’s great to know that what I do is benefiting others as well as myself. I am really loving having my blog and posting workouts, it really keeps me focused. 3 times per week is adequate btw, I just know that if I want to eat the way I do and stay this shape, I need a little extra cardio here and there. Plus I love to do heavier weights along with KBs and Body weight etc etc. Just like a bit of everything. I am glad you are giving my workouts a go. Don’t be put off by the weight I use, just do what you can and perfect your technique first, then start increasing the weight 🙂

      Talk to you soon

  5. Hi Marianne and Andrew, I have been doing the Lean Gains method of fasting for a little over a week and it seems to be working. I havn’t been on a scale but my jeans do fit looser. One draw back though is that my energy levels for lifting, not cardio, seems to be lacking. I mean I think I could lift more if I wasn’t on this eating regimen. I have also completely cut out refined sugar and reduced my fat intake by 70%. This could probably account for my energy levels. Oh yeah, shift work at the hospital doesn’t help! Marianne,I am amazed you can do you workouts after a night shift!

    One other thing. I talked to you about forearm pain when using the kettle bells. They bash into my forearms when doing a clean or snatch. My technique may be wrong. Are the competion grade kettle bells easier to work with? Maybe a video on the subject could be made?

    Again thank you and Andrew for the great advice and great workout routines!

    Raffaele in Vancouver

    1. Raffaele, I am glad to hear you are feeling the effects from the IF. It’s a shame that you have felt a drop in energy. Both Andrew and I have had the opposite effect as we are both stronger and have been lifting better when fasted. Are you getting enough calories during the feeding phase? I hope you are not cutting out the good fats that you need? Fat is not the enemy we take it for, trans fats are the only truely evil ones. You have done the right thing with sugar, as it will only slow things down. Maybe you’re having withdrawals from sugar – this can effect your energy levels.

      As for the kettlebell issue, this is a common problem, but it is about practice, I still get it wrong sometimes, especially with cleans. I personally find the pro grade KBs easier for these lifts as the handle is shorter and the bell sits nicely in the rack during the cleans. Heres a couple of links for you for good tutorials into the technique for the clean and the snatch which I hope will help with this problem in the mean time.

      Keep up the good work 😀

  6. Pingback: My Top 10 Stability Ball Exercises |
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