Incorporating a stability ball into your workout is a great way to increase the intensity of an exercise and to also keep your workouts interesting. Using a stability ball requires more of your muscles to be constantly at work in order to keep your body in balance. The stability ball pike crunch is an effective exercise that focuses on strengthening and toning the lower abdominal muscles.
The only piece of equipment you need for this exercise is a stability ball. Always be sure you’re using a ball that is the right size for you. They come in different sizes, and you’ll need to choose one based upon your height.
Performing the Exercise
To get into position, lie face down on the floor like you would to perform a push up. With your legs fully stretched, place your shins and the tops of your feet on the stability ball. Keeping your arms strong but not flexed, slowly roll the ball into your chest until just your toes are touching the ball and then slowly return to the starting position. This is one full rep. To get the best results from this exercise try to perform one to two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
When you perform this exercise you are using your abdominal muslces including the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques and transversus abdominis, and the pectorals, triceps, biceps, quadriceps and hamstrings as well. With a normal crunch you only work the abdominal muscles so you can see that using a stability ball causes other muscles to contract giving you more of a workout from just one exercise.
The key to preventing injury is making sure that you’re performing the exercise correctly. Be sure to keep your lower back strong and make sure it does not sag. If this exercise is too advanced for you to perform it properly, then try to strengthen up your abdominal muscles and lower back a bit more using simpler exercises.