Abs on the Ball

Bonnie Kaye/Inside Fitness
New York Health & Racquet Club, NY
Ashley Ntansah/Instructor, New York Health & Racquet Club
Using a therapy ball for a great abdominal workout

“Hi, I’m Bonnie Kaye. Looking for a kinder, gentler way to tone those abs? Try doing it on a big, bouncy therapy ball!”
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When it comes to working your abs, there are three compelling reasons to get off the floor and get on the ball. First, you’ll engage more muscles giving you a stronger core.
Ashley Ntansah/New York Health & Racquet Club
Sot Ashley: “Basically what it does is it chains your muscles to work together as a team, so not only do you get to recruit more abdominal fibers, but you get to recruit all the other muscles, the supportive muscles, like your hip flexors, your buttox muscles, your hamstrings, as opposed to just laying flat on the floor. Your muscles have to support your structure to support your body to keep you up.”
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Secondly, it can be easier on your back. While doing exercises like this basic ab crunch, your back sinks into the ball, in a comfortable, supported position.
Sot Ashley
 “The ball takes the shape, the contours of your back, great support.
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And finally, it recruits your back muscles more than when lying flat on the floor.
Sot Ashley
“When on the ball, your back muscles have to fire. The fibers have to fire to keep you up, to keep you on the ball, to help you contract. Without your back muscles, you will fall totally off the ball, completely off the ball.”
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Lifting to the center works your middle abdominals, while twisting to the side works your obliques. Another waistline trimmer…lean on the ball sideways, and lift from the waist-up. For Fitness Magazine, I’m Bonnie Kaye.


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