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Stability Ball Exercises: Tone And Strengthen

6 min read

By Eric Leckie, PT

Incorporating some stability ball exercises into a workout routine is a great way to mix things up by taking an otherwise boring or plain exercise and making it a little more fun (as well as a little harder). Using a stability ball will encourage the core to engage and work harder providing better and faster results. They can also be used for sitting, like at a desk or for stretching.

Before getting started, be sure to purchase a good-quality stability ball. You can find this piece of equipment at most stores and for a relatively affordable price.

Now let’s jump into my top 18 easy stability ball exercises that can be completed either at home or at the gym for a great full body workout!

Wall Squats

To perform this exercise, you’ll need the stability ball and a stable wall to lean up against. Start by placing the stability ball at weight height against the wall. Lean up against it and perform a simple squat.

To make this exercise even harder, try incorporating some weights which will increase the difficulty of this lower body exercise.

Wall Squats

Push Ups

While not many people enjoy doing push ups, they are one of the best toning exercises. Plus they are easy to do anywhere at any time because they don’t require any equipment. They’re also super versatile which means they can be performed with a stability ball!

To do so, roll over the stability ball until your hands are flat on the ground underneath your shoulders and your feet are supported by the ball. Now complete a push up and repeat for as many desired repetitions.

Push Ups on a Stability Ball

Bicep Curls

Bicep curls are a great exercise for toning arms — something many people are interested in! This is by far one of the easier exercises on this list because all it takes is doing a bicep curl while sitting on the stability ball.

While this might seem like an easy exercise that could be done standing, the stability ball helps engage the core while also toning the arms with the weights. Double the fun!

Bicep curls while sitting on a stability ball

Hamstring Curls

Similar to the bicep curls, but this time focusing on the lower body! You can work the hamstrings by lying on your back and placing your feet up on the ball. Once you’re in position, lift your buttocks off the ground and curl the ball towards you using your hamstrings.

Hamstring Curls

Rear Foot Elevated Lunges

Nothing like a good old fashioned lunge to strengthen the lower body! To ensure the core is engaging as well, try it with a stability ball. This will really test your balance.

Place one foot behind you resting on the stability ball. Make sure the core is engaged, and then perform a forward lunge.

Rear Foot Elevated Lunges

Lower Back Extensions

Create a nice toned lower back by rolling onto the ball until your upper body is hanging off the end. Make sure your feet are placed firmly on the ground with toes pointed down. Slowly engage your lower back muscles and lift your chest into the air.

Lower Back Extensions on a Stability Ball

Hip Thrusts

While it may sound like some kind of dance move, this exercise is used to target the glutes. To start sit on the ball, then slowly roll backwards so just the upper shoulders and head are supported.

Make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground about shoulder width apart. Once you’re in place, thrust your hips into the air and slowly lower back down. Repeat this exercise for any number of desired reps.

Hip Thrusts on a Stability Ball

Core Rollouts

The core is a common place to target when working out. It’s often an area that most people want to tone and strengthen. Doing so will provide many benefits like improving posture, stability, and prevent injury.

To perform a core rollout with a stability ball, start by kneeling on the ground. Place your hands on the stability ball and roll forwards using your core to brace the body. Then roll back in.

Group exercising together on stability balls

Marching on the Ball

While this exercise may sound simple, trust us — it’s a good one! Plus it can be performed while sitting which is a plus.

Start by sitting on the stability ball. Now, just as the exercise sounds, begin marching your feet. The simple act of marching your feet will add in a level of instability that forces the core to work extra hard to keep you from losing balance.

Marching on the Ball

Single Leg Glute Bridge

Another exercise that targets the glutes are bridges. These are another popular exercise that can be done without a stability, but also with one! Incorporating a stability ball into this exercise really fires it up a notch.

Start by lying on the ground with one foot resting on the ball. Lift the opposite foot in the air and perform a glute bridge.

Single Leg Glute Bridge on a Stability Ball

Russian Twists

Put a Russian twist on it! To perform this core blasting exercise, start by lying on the ball. Clasp your hands together and twist side to side keeping your core tense throughout.

Russian Twists with a Stability Ball

Sit Ups

There’s nothing more effective than a good old fashioned sit up! Sit ups are one of the most common and effective toning exercises and they’re great for blasting abdominal fat.

Start by laying down on your back, preferably on a mat. Place both feet up on the ball so that they are comfortable. Engage your core and perform a sit up. If this is too challenging, you can try doing a crunch instead. This way you won’t have to lift your torso as high.

Sit Ups with a Stability Ball

Wall Sit

This exercise is similar to the wall squat in format, but instead of moving up and down, you’re going to lower down into a sitting position and hold.

Start with the ball at your back up against the wall, near your hips. Bend your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle and hold this position for 20 to 40-seconds.

Wall Sit

Chest Press with Dumbbells

Want more bang for your buck in the gym? Most the chest press from the bench to a stability ball! By using a stability ball, you’re forcing the body to work the core harder as it will need to provide stability in order to perform the exercise. This means burning more calories in a shorter amount of time!

Chest Press with Dumbbells on a Stability Ball


Roll out onto the ball so that your hands are flat on the ground and only your feet are touching the ball. Engage your core and lift your buttocks into the air and then slowly lower back down.

women exercising on stability ball

Leg Raises

Leg raises are a surefire way to get the core and legs fired up! Start by lying on your back, then squeeze the stability ball between your ankles. Engage your core and lift the ball up towards the ceiling making sure your legs remain straight and then lower back down.

woman holding stability ball in the air

Shoulder Press

Want to tone those arms while also engaging the core? Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on the stability ball. Brace the core and perform a shoulder press to give both the shoulders and core a workout simultaneously.

Woman sitting on stability ball with dumbbells in hands

Triceps Dips

Tricep dips are a super tough workout that even the most fit people struggle with! However, they are super effective and one of the few exercises that can help target the back of the arms which is where the triceps are located.

To do a tricep dip on a stability ball, place the ball in the corner where two walls meet. Make sure it’s nice and secure. Next, place both hands on the front of the stability ball in a tricep dips position. Slowly lower the body to the ground, then on the way back up squeeze through the triceps.

Stability ball

DPT, Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eric Leckie is a men's health Physiotherapist specializing in prostate cancer treatment. He completed his studies in Australia earning his Doctor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. He currently works in a private practice, in addition to owning his own Telehealth Physiotherapy clinic which focuses on treating men with prostate cancer.

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