Stability Ball Exercises: Reverse Lunge with Overhead Stretch

A reverse lunge with overhead stretch performed with a stability ball is a whole body exercise. It will not only strengthen your muscles, it will also have some cardio benefits and burn a few calories. This exercise works your arms and legs, particularly your deltoid muscles (in the shoulder) and your quadriceps (the large muscles of your thigh), as well as your gluteal (backside) and abdominal muscles and hamstrings.

How to Perform a Reverse Lunge with Overhead Stretch

The size of your stability ball is not very important for this exercise, although you might want to consider using a smaller ball as it will be easier to control. Make sure your feet are not going to slip by wearing suitable shoes without overly worn soles. Do not perform this exercise on a carpet.

  1. Stand straight with the stability ball in your hands. Bring it up until it is directly in front of your face (while looking straight ahead) and about 3 to 4 inches from your nose. Tense your abdominal muscles and tuck in your pelvis to keep your back straight.
  2. Step your right leg back by about 2 to 3 feet. Bend both knees so that your left thigh sinks until it is parallel with the ground and your right knee dips toward the ground. Your legs should look as though you are doing a normal lunge and your weight should be primarily on your left heel. Your right knee should be in a straight line with your right foot and your left knee should be directly over your left foot.
  3. While your legs are moving into position, keep your torso upright and your back straight with your abdominals tensed. Lift the ball over your head, pushing your arms straight up. 
  4. Lower the ball while you straighten your legs and return to your starting position. Repeat, with your left leg stepping backward. Remember to continue looking straight ahead throughout the exercise and to perform the same number of repetitions for each side. Move slowly and fluidly.

How to Increase the Difficulty of a Reverse Lunge with Overhead Stretch

This exercise is already quite difficult, so increasing the number of repetitions and sets you do should be enough for most people. If you have difficulty performing all the actions at once, you can lift the ball over your head while standing straight, and lower it while you are in the lunge position.

If you want to increase the difficulty of each repetition, you can try using a medicine ball or a weight instead of a stability ball. This will increase the effect on your arms.

This is a difficult exercise that works many of the muscles in your arms and legs. It can be hard on your knees, so be careful to hold the right posture throughout the motion to protect them and reap the benefits of this exercise.


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