The stability ball is a common piece of exercise equipment, found in both gyms and at-home workout studios. It is very versatile and can be incorporated into a number of different exercises; many people prefer using a stability ball to standard workout machines, as it helps to provide a freer type of exercise with less potential for muscle strain and overexertion.
The stability ball dolphin is a common exercise on the stability ball. It is designed to work both the abdominal core muscles and the glutes. Done properly, it can help to tone and tighten all of these muscle groups and can even help to benefit the lower back as well. Read on to learn how to complete a stability ball dolphin exercise properly and safely.
The basic positioning of this exercise requires that you lie face down on the stability ball. Place the ball in front of you while you’re on your knees. Roll the ball toward you and place your torso over the edge of the ball so that the main point of contact is your lower abdomen and hips. Place both hands flat on the floor with your elbows bent slightly, and keep your gaze oriented toward the ground throughout the exercise. To get to the resting position for this exercise, hold your legs straight out behind you, separated by a few inches, and raise them slightly off of the ground by about a foot or so.
To execute the exercise itself, clench your buttocks and your abdomen as you raise your legs up together. Your legs should move first to an even position with your upper body and then continue up as high as possible from this position. Aim for a smooth, even motion throughout and be sure to bring your legs back down slowly and gently. One motion up and one motion down combine to make one single repetition of this exercise.
Safety and Injury Prevention
To ensure that you complete this exercise without harming yourself, make sure to move slowly as you lower your legs back down. This will ensure that you balance carefully on the stability ball and that you don’t fall off. It also ensures that you don’t drop your legs down and have them hit the floor. Your legs should never reach all the way down to the ground while you’re in the middle of a set of repetitions. Continue to breathe regularly and be sure to stretch before and after executing the stability ball dolphin.
For a more intense version of this exercise, hold your legs at the point at which they’re even with the rest of your body when they’re in the resting position. Do not let them drop any lower than horizontal. You can also attach light ankle weights to both ankles to add more resistance to the exercise as well.