Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
The 5 Worst Mistakes I Made as a New Runner and How You Can Learn From Them
Healthy Recipes
77 Snacks to Satisfy Hunger, All Under 150 Calories
Shay Mitchell
Shay Mitchell's Secret to Looking Fit? This Insane Gym Routine

Get on the Ball: Crunches

Although many people don't enjoy it, no one would ever tell you that abdominal work is not important. If you want a strong body, you need a strong center.

Chances are high you want to make every bit of your abdominal workout count so to make your crunches most effective you need to move them onto a ball. A recent study ranked traditional crunches as the 11th most effective abdominal exercise, but ranked crunches on an exercise ball the most effective. Crunching on the ball made the abs work 24 to 38 percent more. And in this case more is good! To balance on the unstable surface of the ball, your core is stimulated to recruit more muscle fibers.

  • Sit on a well-inflated and anti-burst exercise ball. Size wise, you should be able to sit on an exercise ball with your hips and knees both bent to 90 degree angles (here is more on ball size).
  • Place your hands behind your head, and walk your feet away from the ball so you start to roll your torso onto the ball. The ball should support your hips and the curve of your lower back. Your legs should form a bridge with your knees bent at right angles.
  • Exhale and lift your upper body by about 45 degrees, pulling the deep abs in toward the spine and return to starting position.
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
mod16 mod16 8 years
have been doing this for years. the ball really does help
cinadanni24 cinadanni24 9 years
I have to get one so that I can wear my bikini this summer. I asked for a butt and I got one, but I did not ask for a gut and I got one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pixelsugar pixelsugar 9 years
I think this has finally convinced me to go pick up an exercise ball tonight. Wish me luck!
Tamma1387 Tamma1387 9 years
i love my ball, but i cant get it to inflate all the way. the stupid foot pump it came with sucks
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
Love them. I sit on my ball at my desk at home for even more core strengthening. Woot.
latent latent 9 years
Electropoptart: They're FANTASTIC, once you get the hang of them. :)
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
latent...Yah, I think you want me fall flat on my FACE! hahaha. Those are HARD, but work your arms and chest too...GREAT! However, I do pilates for my core.
latent latent 9 years
This is the BEST abdominal exercise I've ever used a ball for. Fantastic.
nancita nancita 9 years
I always wondered what size ball I should use. Sounds like I've been doing it right; good to know!
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Using the ball is an EXCELLENT workout for your abs, much harder than on-the-floor crunches.
Neve1 Neve1 9 years
My gym has a ball like this, I should definitely give it a try... My abs are the worst part of my body, yet I can't bring myself to make them work and I keep on focusing on my legs and butt, which are OK *sigh*
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
My son (9) tried this last night after I did my set. He got flustered because he couldn't balance and marveled at how I could do such a thing. I LOVE my Fit Ball!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I miss my exercise ball. :(
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I miss my exercise ball. :(
Pictures of Lady Gaga's Abs at the 2011 Grammys
Acacia Fitness DVD Review: Fit in 5 Total Body Tone
How to Be Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino For Halloween
Celebrity Workout Plan From The Hills Personal Trainer
Jennifer Lopez Style at Wedding in The Back-up Plan
Fitness DVD Review of 10 Minute Solution Belly, Butt, and Thigh Blasters
Photos of Sarah Jessica Parker at Halston Heritage in Canada

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds