Beginners Beginner Ball Workout for Balance, Stability, and Core Strength By Paige Waehner, CPT Paige Waehner, CPT Facebook LinkedIn Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer"; and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness." Learn about our editorial process Updated on October 01, 2022 Reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by nutrition and exercise professionals. Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Tara Laferrara, CPT Reviewed by Tara Laferrara, CPT Tara Laferrara is a certified NASM personal trainer, yoga teacher, and fitness coach. She also created her own online training program, the TL Method. Learn about our Review Board Print We may not think much about balance and stability, but those elements are very important for everything we do, from daily chores to exercise. Each joint is made up of ligaments and tendons, connected to all the muscles that work to keep your body upright and in the proper position. The more you can strengthen that connective tissue and those stabilizer muscles, the better your body will perform no matter what activity you're doing. Yoga Ball Exercises Yoga ball exercises allow you to work on balance and stability without the need for advanced or intense exercises. In fact, this simple tool (the yoga ball) can help you work all areas of your body while allowing you to get familiar with the unstable surface of the ball. Plus, the most effective moves are simple, easy to follow exercises like ball circles, ball balances, ball marches, and ball walks. Using a yoga ball is perfect if you haven't had much experience using an exercise ball and want a gentle way to work your body. Equipment Needed The only equipment required for these exercises is an exercise ball. You'll also want enough open space to move. If you've never used a ball before, try sitting next to a wall or hold onto a chair for balance if needed. Work your way up to doing the exercises without any props. Tips Below are basic instructions to follow: Use the first exercise to warm up your body and prepare it for exercise. Do each exercise as shown for up to three sets of each. If you're a beginner, start with one set and gradually work your way up to more sets over time. Hold onto a wall for balance if you need to and use a sticky mat or shoes with good traction to avoid slipping. Skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort. How Long to Warm Up Before Exercise Ball Circles Ball circles are the perfect place to start to loosen up the body and get used to sitting on the exercise ball. Make the circles as small or as big as you like. As you warm up, you can go deeper into each circle. Sit on the ball and place your hands behind your head (more challenging), on the ball, or hold onto a wall if you need more stability.Slowly begin to roll your hips in a circle towards the right, arching a little when your hips circle to the back and then curving the back when your hips circle to the front.Make small circles and, as you get comfortable, larger circles. Focus on contracting your abs each time you roll the ball forward.Repeat for 20 circles to the right and then the left. Ball Marches Ball marches are a great way to challenge your balance, taking one foot off the floor and forcing the standing foot to keep you stable. Hold onto a wall here if you need to and/or place the ball against a wall for more support. Sit on the ball with your spine straight and abs in.Take your hands behind your head (more challenging) or keep them on the ball and lift your right foot a few inches off the ground.Lower your foot and lift your left foot a few inches off the ground.Continue, alternating lifting your right foot and then the left.As you get comfortable with the movement, lift your knees higher and march faster.You can also add a bounce on the ball if you feel comfortable.Repeat for 1–2 minutes. Advanced Balance Exercises Seated Ball Balance This exercise will really challenge your balance so give yourself some time to practice and perfect this one. Sit on the ball with your spine straight and abs in.Place your hands on the ball, behind your head (harder), or hold onto a wall for balance.Lift your right foot off the floor and stretch it out straight, holding it in the air for 5 or more seconds.Lower and repeat on the other side.Repeat for 5–10 reps.Focus on contracting your abs to help keep your balance. Ball Walks Ball walks can be very challenging for the core, so take your time with this one. You may just want to walk halfway down to test your core strength before you go all the way down. Sit on the ball and put your hands on the ball, behind your head, or hold onto a wall for balance.Begin by contracting your abs and slowly walk your feet forward.As you walk, slowly roll your back down on the ball.Keep walking and rolling until your head and shoulders are on the ball and your hips are lifted into a bridge position.Walk all the way back until you're seated again.Repeat for 10–15 reps. You'll notice that your ball will move every time you walk out and in. That's normal. Just reposition the ball if you find you're all the way across the room. Ball Squats NiseriN / Getty Images Ball squats not only help your balance, but they also strengthen your glutes, hips, and thighs. A ball can be a great resource if you have back or knee issues. By using a ball, you can often take the pressure off your back and your knees, giving you a safe way to squat. Prop the ball against a wall and position it behind your lower-mid back.Walk your feet out a bit so that you're leaning against the ball, feet about hip-distance apart. If your feet are too close to the wall, you might strain the knees.Bend your knees and lower into a squat, going as low as you can. Try looking down to make sure your knees aren't drifting too far over your toes.Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up and try not to lock your knees when you stand.Repeat for 15 reps.To add intensity, hold hand weights. Pelvic Tilt on the Ball Pelvic tilts are a very subtle exercise and a great way to gently work the abs and the lower back. Doing them on the ball adds an element of balance that will engage all the stability muscles in the lower body. Sit on the ball and slowly walk your feet forward until your head and shoulders are supported on the ball. Your knees should be bent at about 90 degrees, hips lifted.Arch your back and rotate your hips back and towards the ball. The move should be small and subtle, just enough to feel a stretch in your abs.Now gently curve your hips up towards you without rolling on the ball. In other words, keep the ball stable while you move your hips.Continue to squeeze your hips up and down for 15 reps. Leg Press on the Ball Verywell / Ben Goldstein If you have knee problems, this exercise may not work for you. The key to this move is to try keeping the weight in your heels rather than on the toes, which can strain the knee. Sit on the ball and slowly walk your feet forward until you're at an incline on the ball. Your head and shoulders should be off the ball and your knees should be bent.Bend your knees as though you're going into a squat.Press through your heels to come back to start.Repeat for 15 reps. How to Do the Leg Press Back Extension Caiaimage / Robert Daly / Getty Images This move can be a little tricky to get into position. You may have to adjust the ball several times before you find the right kind of support. Lie facedown with the ball under your hips and lower torso.You can rest on your knees, which is easier, or on your toes with the knees straight, which is more challenging.Place your hands under your chin, elbows bent.Roll forward over the ball and then contract your lower back to lift your chest off the ball.Try bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line, but don't hyperextend.Repeat for 12–16 reps Hip Lifts Verywell / Getty Images Hip lifts are a great way to work on balance, but you also get a great workout for your glutes and hamstrings. Lie on the floor with heels propped on the ball.Keeping your abs tight, slowly lift your hips off the floor squeezing your glutes.Keep going until your body is in a straight line.Hold for a few seconds and lower, repeating 15 times. To make it easier, place ball under knees rather than under heels and keep your hands on the floor. To make it harder, cross your arms over your chest. If your knees are uncomfortable in this locked position, roll the ball in with your feet as your hips come high. 6 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Hrysomallis C. Balance ability and athletic performance. Sports Med. 2011;41(3):221-232. doi:10.2165/11538560-000000000-00000 Yu W, Cha S, Seo S. The effect of ball exercise on the balance ability of young adults. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017;29(12):2087-2089. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.2087 Kim T-H, Lee C-W, Kim S-G, An B-W. The effect of a pelvis-concentrated exercise program on male college students’ body alignment and foot base pressure. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2015;27(4):1165-1167. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.1165 Barton CJ, Kennedy A, Twycross-Lewis R, Woledge R, Malliaras P, Morrissey D. Gluteal muscle activation during the isometric phase of squatting exercises with and without a Swiss ball. Phys Ther Sport. 2014;15(1):39-46. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2013.02.006 Takaki S, Kaneoka K, Okubo Y, et al. Analysis of muscle activity during active pelvic tilting in sagittal plane. Physical Therapy Research. 2016;19(1):50-57. doi:10.1298/ptr.E9900 Williams MJ, Gibson NV, Sorbie GG, Ugbolue UC, Brouner J, Easton C. Activation of the gluteus maximus during performance of the back squat, split squat, and barbell hip thrust and the relationship with maximal sprinting. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2021;35(1):16-24. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002651 By Paige Waehner, CPT Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? 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