Total Body Workout With Bands on the Ball

These exercises are examples of moves you can try using the Balance Ball Resistance Kit, a series of straps that fit over your ball providing two resistance bands for strength training. Having the bands attached to the ball allows for a wide variety of exercises with no need for door attachments or other extras often necessary for band work.


Chest Press

Lie on the ball with the bands on either side. Roll forward and squeeze the butt to keep the hips up. Hold onto the handles and press the arms up and over your chest. Bend the elbows to lower back down (going no lower than the shoulders).


Seated Row

Prop ball against a wall with bands on either side. Prop the feet against the ball with bent knees and sit up tall, handles in both hands. Keeping torso straight and abs engaged, squeeze shoulder blades together as you bend the elbows, pulling them just behind the torso. Release and repeat, keeping legs active so that the ball doesn't move.


High Row

In the same position as the Seated Row, start with the arms straight out in front, palms facing down. Squeeze shoulder blades together as you pull the arms back, elbows bent to 90 degrees and parallel to the floor. Pull elbows back until they're just past the torso (keep the shoulders down) and release back to start.


Reverse Fly

In the same position as High Row, begin with the arms parallel to one another, palms facing in. Keeping elbows slightly bent and in a fixed position, open the arms out to the sides (don't go past shoulder level), squeezing the shoulders blades together. You may need to adjust the tension of the bands for this exercise.


Overhead Press

Sit on the ball with bands on either side. Keep the abs engaged and grasp the handles, bring the hands up just over your shoulders. Sitting tall, press arms up and over your head. Release back to start and repeat. 


Front Raise

Turn the ball so that one of the resistance bands is directly under you. Grab the handle and, keeping torso straight, lift arm straight up in front of you to shoulder level. Lower and repeat for all reps and then switch arms.


Tricep Extension

Have the ball in the same position as in the front raise, but pull the band out the back so it's behind your head. Grasp the handle in the right hand, elbow bent to 90 degrees (your palm should face out and be behind your head). Contract the triceps to press the arm straight, keeping the elbow in a fixed position. Lower and repeat for all reps before switching sides.


Bicep Curls

With the ball against a wall and bands on either side, lie down on the floor with feet pressing into the ball. Holding onto handles, curl hands up towards the shoulders (without allowing the elbows to rest or push into the floor). Release and repeat. For added difficulty, place heels on the ball and do the move with your body in a bridge position.



Place your feet into the handles of the resistance bands and stretch the ball out until it's resting behind your back. Be careful here as it's easy to lose control of the ball. Walk the feet out a bit and lower into a squat, using your body to hold the ball in place. Press back up to start and repeat.


Side Leg Lift

Lie sideways on the ball with one resistance band under the ball and coming out the side. Place the top foot inside the handle and stretch the leg out. Without collapsing the upper body, lift the top leg a few inches off the floor in a leg lift. Lower (without resting foot on the floor) and repeat for all reps before switching sides.


Leg Kickbacks

In the same position as the Leg Lift with the foot inside the handle, simply turn over so you're lying face down on the ball. Push the leg straight back until level with the hips. Lower and repeat for all reps before switching legs.



Place your feet right below the resistance band hooks and grab onto the handles. Squeezing the ball with your feet, straighten the legs and straight arms out so they're hovering over the floor. Curl the head and upper shoulders off the mat and pulse the arms 100 times (inhaling for 5 pulses and exhaling for 5 pulses). Really squeeze the ball or you'll lose it.

Guidelines and Tips:

  • Do all the exercises for a total body workout or split the routine into upper or lower
  • Beginners, perform one set of 12-16 reps of each exercise, skipping the more difficult moves (such as the 100s)
  • Intermediate/Advanced, perform 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise
  • For larger muscle groups (such as chest and back) create more tension on the bands by moving them to the holes closer to the ball.
  • Always prop the ball against something to help control it. As you get stronger, you can move the ball away to add intensity.
  • If you need more tension on the bands, you can also wrap them around your hands until you have the tension you need
  • Warm up with cardio before the workout
  • Check with your doctor if you've never exercised before or have any medical conditions or injuries

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."