This is the 2nd “30 minute workout” of the month. It is meant to build on the “30 Minute Exercise Ball Workout – Beginner to Intermediate“. This workout is for those of you who have been practicing the beginner version and want to advance the challenge, or for those of you who thought the last one was too easy. Some of the more difficult exercises from the first workout are included here with new, more advanced exercises.
As I mentioned last time, before you begin, it is important to make sure that the ball is the right size for you. Generally, if your hips are slightly higher than your knees while sitting on the ball, it is an appropriate size. Check it out!
Follow this circuit, performing each exercise in order. After completing one set of each exercise, take a 30 second rest, then we’ll repeat it two more times (taking another 30 second rest after the 2nd set), modifying as suggested or as you are able. There are 7 exercises, so keep the pace!
- 1st set: Perform 10 pushups with your hands on the ball and your feet on the ground. Try to limit how much the ball moves.
- 2nd set: This time perform 10 pushups with your feet on the ball and your hands on the ground (as demonstrated in the picture).
- 3rd set: From the same starting position as the 2nd set, lift your right foot off the ball (so only your left foot is stabilizing), and perform 5 pushups. Switch legs and perform 5 more.
Supine Supported Bridging (balance and strength/stability)
- 1st set: Lie with your shoulders, head, and neck supported by the ball and your feet resting on the ground. Lift your pelvis (using your hamstrings and glutes, not your back!) so that your thighs and torso are in a straight line (like a table). Maintain this position while you alternate picking up one foot at a time and placing it back down. You can use your elbows against the ball to stabilize yourself the first time, but as you improve try to use your elbows less. Keep your pelvis level as you alternate legs. Perform 10 repetitions with each leg.
- 2nd and 3rd set: Perform as you did during the first set, but this time simultaneously reach behind you with the opposite arm (for example, when you pick your left foot up off the floor, reach behind you with your right arm). To help stabilize, really focus on pushing into the ground with the foot that remains on the ground, to initiate a contraction that will integrate your trunk.
- 1st and 2nd sets: “Bent-knee Pikes”: Roll out over the ball into the same position you were in while doing the 2nd and 3rd set of pushups. Stabilizing thru your arms, roll the ball towards your arms by bringing your knees to your chest. Maintain a neutral spine throughout this motion. Slowly roll the ball back to the starting position. Repeat10 times.
- 3rd set: Perform 10 times, keeping your legs straight (as seen in the picture).
Single-leg Hamstring Curls
- All sets: Lie on your back with your heels resting on the ball and your legs straight. Pick one leg up off of the ball, and perform a bridge. Maintaining that bridge, use your hamstrings to curl the ball in towards your body and back out again 10 times using one leg. Use your arms/hands for stability/balance as much as you need to. When you get more comfortable, decrease how much you use your hands to balance.
Supine Bridging with Rotations
- All Sets: Start with your shoulders, head, and neck supported by the ball and your feet resting on the ground. Lift your pelvis (using your hamstrings and glutes, not your back!) so that your thighs and torso are in a straight line (same position as supine supported bridging). This time clasp your hands up above you directly above your chest, keeping your arms straight. Stabilize thru your legs as you rotate onto your right shoulder (your clasped hands will now be facing 90 degrees to your right) so that your shoulders are stacked vertically on top of one another. Pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat to your left. Always pause in the middle to control your momentum and to avoid falling off of the ball. Repeat 10 times to each side and then take a break.
Side Planks on Ball
- All sets: Assume a side plank position with your forearm on the exercise ball and your feet on the ground. Stack your feet on top of each other, or to make it a little easier you can stagger your stance. Hold for 30 seconds.
Front Plank on Ball
- 1st set: Similar to the pushup position on the ball, but this time rest on your forearms. Hold for 30 seconds. Make sure your low back isn’t “sagging”.
- 2nd and 3rd set: Hold for 30 seconds, and try lifting one foot off the ground for 5 seconds at a time. As you lift one foot off of the ground, try to keep your pelvis and low back stable, with as little movement/weight shifting as possible.
As always, remember to go at your own pace. This workout offers suggestions for training with an exercise ball. Modifications can and should be made to accomodate your specific needs. Times can be decreased or increased, positions can be modified, repetitions can be increased or decreased, etc…
Have a great workout!