Bench Exercises: Stability Ball Plank

A stability ball is a new take on the medicine ball of old. With a stability ball, there are numerous exercises that you can do to build lean muscle mass, burn fat and just have fun while exercising. One of these exercises is the stability ball plank.

Performing the Stability Ball Plank

Place your feet on the ground in front of the ball with your lower back against the ball. Slowly walk your feet away from the ball until your legs are straight. You should have your heels on the floor and your head and shoulders supported by the balance ball.

In this step, you stiffen your body until it resembles a plank. Your legs and back should both be straight. Your weight should be supported by your head and shoulders on the ball and your heels on the floor. You should hold this position for a minute to 90 seconds, if possible.

Stability Ball Weight Training

Use dumbbells here for safety. A full barbell will be too cumbersome, but 10 pound dumbbells are easy to handle. Squat against the ball and walk your feet out and roll down the ball until your shoulders and head are supporting your weight on the ball. You should be holding the weights up against your chest as you get into position. Once your shoulders and neck are on the ball, stiffen your body into the plank position and extend your arms straight up.

There are two exercises you can perform from this position, the butterfly and pullovers. For the butterflies, lower your arms straight out to your sides and back up. Do this 10 times. With the pullovers, you will lower your arms over your head as far as they will go without arching your back and bring them back to the starting position. Again, do this 10 times. As an exercise intensifier, you can wear 5 pound wristbands or add 5 to 10 pounds to each dumbbell and increase your reps to twenty apiece.

Stability Ball Benefits and Safety

When you exercise using a stability ball, maintaining your balance requires the use of almost every muscle group in your body. This makes performing exercises with a stability ball very productive in burning calories and toning muscles. If you’re new to strength and toning exercises, you should start slow and build to where you’re holding one position or another for up to a minute at a time.

At first, to help you with your balance, you should assume the plank position, with your chest and forearms on the ball and raise yourself to where your chest is off the ball and your forearms are supporting your weight. Remember with the backside plank positions (you’re looking at the ceiling) to assume the position slowly and carefully so you don’t slide off the ball and hurt yourself.

Stability ball exercises are a great way to exercise your whole body with a single exercise.


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