you think of doing crunches on the ball, you most
likely get a vision of a large, brightly-colored,
rubber inflatable ball.
did you know there is a far more effective alternative?
large ball crunches are an excellent exercise
but you can dramatically increase their effectiveness
by performing them on a much smaller ball.
How small of a ball do you use?
ball I use for the exercise is somewhat larger
than a basketball (you can actually use a basketball
for this if you like though I prefer the softer
ball). It is soft rubber and I got it at Target
for two bucks. You can find balls like these at
most department or toy stores. Note: if you get
a toy ball, be sure it is fairly thick rubber.
You don't want it to burst. Test it out at the
store before you buy it.
the ball on the floor and sit in front of it with
your back up against it. Your knees will be bent
and your feet flat on the floor.
yourself back over the ball, wrapping your back
around the ball as you lay back. Note how the
smaller ball not only increases the stretch on
the abs but doesn't support your body as much
as the larger ball. This vastly increases the
demands placed on the abs during the movement.
only must your abs execute the crunch movement,
they must also balance your torso to a far greater
degree than with the larger ball.
be surprised if you find your abs quivering as
you do this, even if you are an advanced trainer.
I have been doing this one for years and I still
get the quivers if I haven't done it in awhile.
a full stretch back, rounding your back completely
over the ball so your head is almost touching
the ground. Crunch up slowly and squeeze your
abs hard at the top.
is the start position for the Small
how the back is wrapped around the ball
to get the maximum stretch on the abdominal
is the top position of the exercise.
your abs hard at the top.
- You abs
will probably be quivering as you come
up to this point.
- To make
the exercise easier, you can adjust
where you place yourself on the ball.
how the hips are lower and the ball
is higher up on the back.
angle and placement not only removes
some of your bodyweight from the exercise
but gives you better leverage as well.
- To make
the exercise harder, roll yourself further
back on the ball.
- The ball
will be closer down towards your hips
and your toros will be on a decline.
decreases your leverage and forces your
abs to work with more of your bodyweight.
you become strong enough at the above
variation, you can try adding some weight
to the exercise.
- Try holding
a small weight plate above your head
during the movement.
- You can
also hold it over your chest.
- Be sure
your ball is strong enough to take this
picture gives you an idea of the size
of ball I recommend.
- The plate
beside the ball is a 45 pound Olympic
any smaller-sized ball will work as
long as it's not way too small or so
big that it's not really small anymore...
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