Ab exercises are one of the most common types of training that people are looking to be doing on a regular basis. Well toned abs are not an easy feat to achieve, but not impossible. There are a lot of different ways you change your workouts to fit your needs, and using an exercise ball could just give you that edge that you so desperately need.

There are hundreds of different ways that exercise balls can give your workouts this edge, but the abs are possibly the most versatile muscle groups that they can be used for. We’re here to talk you through some of the most effective exercises that you can use for your entire abdominal muscle group. We’ll work the upper, lower and the oblique abdominal muscles in separate exercises for the best results too. It makes sure that you have the moves you need to really make sure that you’re making the most of your whole ab workout.


A woman doing crunches on an exercise ball in her home

Crunches are an abdominal exercise classic. They’re tried and tested miracles when it comes to your upper abs. Why not give them some variation and use the exercise ball to up your game.

All you need to do to be able to do them is a solid and safe exercise ball. Keep your upper back on the ball in a safe position, and your feet firmly planted on the floor to make sure that you can stay stable throughout the exercise, contract your abs so that your mid back is on the ball, but your shoulders and neck are elevated as you would do with a standard crunch.

Russian Twists

Woman performing Russian twists on n exercise ball

Russian twists are an awesome ab exercise to hit your obliques and give your abs that fuller definition that so many of us crave. The only way that you can hit your obliques is to add sideways motions into your routine or crossing limbs over your body. Russian twists are the barebones essential to get these results nailed, so your exercise ball provides a whole new way for you to be able to do it.

When you’re in a safe position, the most effective way for you to do them is to clasp your hands together straight out in front of you and rotating your core until they are at a 90-degree angle. This will ensure that they are completely engaged in what it is that they need to be doping without posing a risk to you of overstretching and even causing the risk of potential injury, both long and short term.


Woman about to perform a knee tuck in the starting position

Tucks are one of the more difficult exercises on the list that you can be doing, but they are without question one of the more effective ways to hammer your lower abs into shape. Just make sure that you have the upper body strength to support yourself and that you take the right precautions, as always.

As you place your hands on the floor and your feet on the stability ball, facing down, all that you need to do is bring in your knees to your chest so that the ball rolls with you under your feet. Once you’re as far as you can be and have got a full and worthwhile contraction, extend your legs so that your ab engagement release and let the ball roll back to it’s starting position. The movement of your legs is where the lower abs will get the attention that they so deserve.


woman piking next to a mirror

The pike is another of the more intensive exercises that are on the list, and it will definitely take its toll on your abs. It will hit your upper and lower abs at the same time, so be ready to feel the burn with this one. It's a good idea to build up your strength with some of the former exercises on the list to make sure that you'll be able to do it safely and get the best results too.

In the same starting point as the knee tuck, you need to contract your abs and push your hips back so that you essentially form an upside-down V shape and roll the ball in toward your core. This is where your upper and middle abs come into play to keep you stable as you then move back to the starting point, ensuring your legs are straight throughout.


Woman liftin up an exercise ball with her legs

Finally the V pass, one of the lighter exercises that will still need your whole core to be on form if you’re going to make it worth your time. The results that it provides will be worth it in the long run.

As you lay flat on your back on a supportive surface, you need to put the ball in between the lower legs and your arms straight out above your head. Once you’re ready to go, contract your abs and keep your limbs straight until you again form a V, and grab the ball from between your legs. Then, slowly go back down so the ball is between your arms instead of your legs and repeat.


All of these will be incredibly taxing and require more core activation than they normally would, to keep your stability consistent throughout the exercises. Even just substituting the odd one of them into your pre-existing ab workout can really give you the edge you need and help your abs reach their full potential, while still providing functional strength.

For more ways to use an exercise ball in your workouts, check out these 10 exercises that you can be using to really change things up.


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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.