Exercise balls, popular polyethylene orbs used in fitness clubs and workout videos, are a valuable tool if you're seeking a smaller waistline. Exercises that tighten the abdominal muscles are taken up a notch with the ball because it requires your body to balance on the ball. Exercise balls, also referred to as Swiss or stability balls, firm your core muscles: the obliques, transverse abs and rectus abdominis.
Sit in the center of the ball with fingers interlocked, behind your head, and feet on the floor. Roll your tailbone under and inch your feet forward.
Roll down onto the ball as your feet move away from the ball. Keep your legs spread at shoulder-width distance and your toes facing forward. Squeeze your glutes and thrust your pelvis up, keeping your thighs flat and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. End with your torso on the ball.
Contract your abs, exhale and lift your chest. Lower your chin slightly to your chest, being careful not to force the head forward with your hands. Use your abs to pull the torso up. Do not let your lower back lift or slide from the ball throughout the exercise.
Lower your upper body as you inhale, returning your back to the ball. Control your balance by widening your feet. Do one set of 12 to 15 reps.
Lie down facing up with your heels resting -- slightly apart -- on the ball and upper body flat on the floor. Spread your arms out at shoulder level and palms down to brace yourself. Tighten your core and press your lower back down.
Contract your abs and raise your hips, exhaling as you do. Lift until your thighs and torso are at a 45-degree angle or are in alignment. Squeezing the glutes can help lift the pelvis and take pressure off the lower back. Keep your torso and thighs aligned and abs tight.
Point your toes forward and briefly lift your left leg off the ball. Inhale and lower your leg, slowly dropping your hips toward the floor. Keep your legs straight and heels resting on the ball while lowering your torso. Repeat the exercise alternating legs. Do three sets of 10, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.
Center the ball beneath your abs and lie atop it, placing your hands and feet on the mat. Stretch your legs back but keep your hands beneath your shoulders.
Tighten your core, lift your legs and,using your hands, walk your body forward until the ball is under your knees. Complete a rep by reversing your hand movements until the ball rests beneath your pelvis.
Do two sets of 10 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.
- Ditch your office chair for an exercise ball and whittle away your waist while at work.