How should I do crunches using an exercise ball?

To do crunches using an exercise ball, position the ball under the nape of your back. In this video, Heather Carty, of Memorial Hospital Jacksonville's H.E.A.R.T Fitness Center, demonstrates crunches using an exercise ball.
Wendy Batts
When performing crunches on the ball, begin lying on the ball with your feet hip-width apart and pointed straight ahead.  Be sure to draw-in your belly button and keep your neck in a relaxed position. Place the ball in the middle of your back and slowly extend your back over the ball. Cross your hands over your chest and slowly crunch up making sure the ball does not move. Pause at the top and then slowly lower yourself back down over the ball. To make this exercise more challenging, start with the ball toward the low back/glute area. To make this easier, begin with the ball toward the upper back/shoulder blade region. Perform this exercise for the desired number of repetitions and sets.
The exercise ball crunch is one of the most effective abdominal exercises. Elevating while leaning on an exercise ball helps you better accommodate your unique biomechanics and allows your hips, back, and butt the freedom to move unimpeded -- something you can't do when you're pressed against a floor for a traditional crunch.

Lean back against a large exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head, slowly raise your upper body as you would in a floor crunch. Be sure to maintain your balance, and don't worry if you squirm to stabilize yourself -- that means that more of your ab muscles are working! Lower yourself as you would for a floor crunch.

Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Continue Learning about Ab/Core Exercises

Exercises to Keep Up Core Strength
Exercises to Keep Up Core Strength
The 1979 film The China Syndrome, reporters (Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas) discover the cover-up of a potential nuclear plant disaster—or China synd...
Read More
What is a good exercise to help me see definition in my upper abs?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
A good exercise to help you see definition in your upper abs is the standing cable crunch.  To p...
More Answers
How do I perform a standing cable torso iso-rotation?
Wendy Batts Wendy Batts
When performing a standing cable torso iso-rotation exercise, you want to first choose a weight on t...
More Answers
Transform YOU: Floor Bridge
Transform YOU: Floor Bridge

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.