Lunges are one of the more difficult leg exercises and doing them with a stability ball can help to improve your posture and increase the effectiveness of the exercise. There are a couple of different methods of performing lunges with a stability ball, but they all work roughly the same muscle groups so use whichever type you feel most comfortable with. Stability ball lunges work the quadriceps (the large muscles of your thighs), the glutes and the hamstrings.
Performing a Stationary Lunge with a Stability Ball
First, make sure you have the right size stability ball. When seated on the ball, your thighs should be approximately parallel with the floor.
- Stand with the ball behind you. Bend one leg back at the knee and place it on the stability ball so the curve of your ankle follows the curve of the ball and your toes are pointing down. Put your front leg as far out in front of the ball as you can without losing your balance.
- Lower yourself by bending your front knee until your thigh is parallel with the floor and your back leg is extended straight across the ball. If you feel discomfort at any point, don’t try to bend further. Keep your back straight but lean forward slightly from the hips. Don’t allow your knee to end up over or beyond the toes of your front foot as this will put too much pressure on your knee.
- Return to your starting position, pushing your weight down through your front heel. Move slowly and smoothly and try not to bounce or jerk. Do the same amount of repetitions on each side.
Performing Wall Lunges with a Stability Ball
- Stand in front of a wall, facing out and position the ball between the wall and the small of your back.
- Put one foot back against the wall and the other as far in front of you as possible without losing your balance.
- Bend your front knee until your thigh is parallel with the floor. The ball will roll down the wall with you, but should not feel unstable. Do not allow your knee to move over your front toes.
- Return to your starting position. Remember to move slowly and deliberately, without jerking or bouncing. Keep your stomach muscles tight and do not lean forward.
Increasing the Difficulty of Stability Ball Lunges
Increasing the repetitions will increase the difficulty of both exercises. You should do as many as is needed to feel fatigue in your leg muscles. If you want to increase the difficulty of each repetition, try holding dumbbells while performing the exercise. However, lunges can be hard on the knees, so you should build up your ability before using weights. Start with the lightest weights before working your way up to heavier ones.
Lunges will quickly sculpt your glutes and thighs, while providing them with strength and some stretching. By doing them with a stability ball, you will also force your body to balance, which will improve your posture as an added bonus.