A Well-Rounded Workout
Accordion Crunch Step 1
The Accordion Crunch tones deep abdominal tissue, the chest, and shoulders. Start in plank position with shins resting on top of the ball, body straight, and hands positioned directly underneath shoulders. Engage your core muscles to maintain a sturdy and aligned core.
Accordion Crunch Step 2
On an exhale, scoop in belly, lift hips, and pull knees toward chest, feeling your core muscles contract. Inhale and return to plank position. Repeat 10 times.
The Abs Scissor strengthens abdominals and obliques. Place ball between your shins and point your toes. Keep knees straight. Support your upper body with your elbows and forearms, palms down on the floor. Exhale and swivel your right leg on top of the left, and then switch, bringing your left leg above the right. Continue at a steady pace. Repeat exercise 20 times.
Abs Scissor Challenge
Try this exercise without using your elbows. Support your head with your hands and lift shoulders off the floor, engaging your core and pressing abdominals down. This strengthens the intercostal muscles of your ribcage and increases the flexibility of your upper back.
Modified Push-Up Step 1
The Modified Push-Up improves upper-body strength without strain. Press your belly into the top of the ball. Extend your arms down to the floor. Position yourself on the ball so all of your torso and hips are in front of the ball and your shoulders are directly aligned above your wrists. Keep fingers pointing forward. As you inhale, bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor, keeping abdominals strong.
Modified Push-Up Step 2
On an exhale, straighten your elbows. Repeat eight to 10 times.
Modified Push-Up Challenge
The farther the ball is from your center, the more weight you are pressing with your upper body. Try positioning your body so that only the tops of your feet or your toes are on the ball.
The Backbend/Arch elongates abdominals and stimulates the heart chakra. Plant feet hip-width apart and sit down on the ball. Lean back slowly, draping your body over the ball. Reach your arms up overhead. Keep your eyes open and breathe calmly. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Modified Plow Stretch
The Modified Plow Stretch stretches the spine and hamstrings. Lie on your back with the ball between your shins and legs at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Exhale and bring legs straight up and over until the ball touches the floor behind your head. Keep eyes open and knees straight. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
The Chest Stretch releases back muscles and stretches chest muscles. Place palms on the ball and take a few steps backward. When you've reached the point of full extension of your spine, exhale and, keeping your hands in place, gently press upper body toward floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
The Seated Twist encourages balance and better posture in a seated, upright position. Sit on top of the ball and cross your right leg over your left. With your left arm on your right knee, gently twist your upper body to the right and look over your right shoulder, using your right arm behind you for balance. Hold for 30 seconds, and then turn in the other direction.
Modified Boat Pose
The Modified Boat Pose helps develop core strength while improving balance. Sit on the mat, hugging your knees toward your chest. Bring your legs up, one at a time, until both calves are up against the ball, using your arms for support. Once you feel stable, put your right arm behind you for support and reach your left arm out toward the ball, parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.
Modified Boat Pose Challenge
Try a traditional boat pose, using both arms. Once you have your legs resting on the ball, reach both arms out toward the ball for a more intense core workout.
Modified Tree Pose
The Modified Tree Pose improves balance while stretching the inner thigh and opening the hip. Stand to the left of the ball and lift your right leg, resting your calf on the ball. Point your toes and fully extend your right leg. Inhale and bring your hands together. Exhale. Keep your gaze steady. Visualize your spine growing longer. Take three to five deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Modified Tree Pose Challenge
For an extra challenge, add ballet arms with a side stretch: As you inhale, bring both arms up overhead. Exhale as you reach up and over to the right as you maintain your balance. Repeat on the other side.