13 Best Exercise Ball Exercises for Strong Abs - GymBeam Blog (2023)

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Are you getting bored of classic ab exercises, such as sit-ups? Or do you feel that you are stagnating andneed a new training impulse?We have a solution for you in the form of effective exercises with an exercise ball. This piece of equipment is not just for sitting down, it is also great for proper abs workout. You will involve the core of the body, lower abdomen and oblique abdominal muscles, thanks to which you will comprehensively target this problematic part.

The exercise ball is a practical training aid that you can buy for your home or use in the gym. Its main advantage is the involvement of the deep stabilization system of the spine, which helps us to maintain balance. Thanks to this, you will work on your coordination skills, which you will also appreciate in any sport. [1–3]

How to train your abs with an exercise ball?

Na cvičení budete kromě fit míče potřebovat podložku a dostatek místa kolem sebe. Vyberte si z níže uvedených cviků ty, které chcete zařadit do tréninku. Můžete je přidat k posilování jiné tělesné partie nebo si z nich vytvořit samostatný trénink. Pro dosažení výsledků je důležité tyto cviky provádět pravidelně, ideálně 2–4krát týdně. Postupně zvyšujte náročnost cviků nebo přidávejte počet opakování či sérií. Nezapomínejte ale dávat břišním svalům také prostor pro regeneraci a výsledky podpořit i kvalitním jídelníčkem. [4]

Do a HIIT Workout:

  • Pick 4-6 exercises
  • One exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds
  • Another exercise follows and after doing all of them, the set is finished
  • take a 1-2 minute break between each set
  • Do 3-4 full sets

Try Circuit Training:

  • Pick 4-6 exercises
  • Do 8-20 8-20 reps of each exercise
  • for isometric exercises such as plank, try to hold in the position for at least 15 seconds
  • Do 3-4 full sets
  • take a 1-2 minute break between each set

If you also want to add exercises with an exercise ball for your buttocks, you will find them in our article

13 Best Exercise Ball Exercises for Strong Abs - GymBeam Blog (1)
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13 effective exercise ball exercises for your abs

Below you will find exercises for the lower abdomen, core of the body, hips and oblique abdominal muscles. You can try the basic variant or the advanced version.Try to do them slowly and in a controlled way, because they demand stability and coordination. Before the training itself, don’t forget to warm up slightly (running on the spot or with a jumping rope). Then get your whole body moving by stretching. After a workout, take a few minutes to stretch again.

1. Plank

  • Starting position: Get into a plank position with your hands and place your hands approximately under your shoulders. Extend your legs and place your feet and shins on the ball. Embrace your core and keep the body and try to keep it in a straight line.
  • Execution:Breathe freely, hold the body firm and try to maintain this position for at least 15 seconds.You can simplify the exercise by moving your hands closer to the ball, which will get under your thighs.On the other hand, a more difficult option is lifting one of your arms, going back and repeating the whole process with the other arm.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back, excessive lifting of the pelvis upwards.

2. Side plank

  • Starting position: Lie on one side near the ball and lean on it with your forearm. You can place your other hand on your hip. Fully extend your legs, or place one foot in front of the other for better stability. Brace your core and try to keep your body in a straight line.
  • Execution:Breathe freely, hold the body firm and try to maintain this position for at least 15 seconds.Then change sides. You can make the exercise more difficult by raising your upper arm towards the ceiling.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back, excessive lifting of the pelvis upwards, excessive lowering of your hips to the ground.
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3. V-Ups

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, place the exercise ball between your ankles and press it firmly. Extend your legs out and raise your arms above your head.
  • Execution: Inhale, brace your core and with the exhale lift the legs with the ball above the body. Raise your arms at the same time. Once the ball is above the centre of the body, grab it with your hands. Then place the ball over your head while your feet are slightly above or on the ground. Inhale again and move the ball back between your ankles in the same motion. Press yourlowerbackinto theground all the time. You can simplify the exercise by bending your legs.
  • Common mistakes: Insufficient involvement of abdominal muscles, lifting the lower back off the ground, bent back.
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4. Roll Out

  • Starting position: Kneel on a mat with your elbows resting on aball. The feet and shins remain on the ground, the pelvis is located approximately above the knees. Activate the core of the body.
  • Execution: Inhale and at the same time start rolling forward on the ball until you have your back straight. The further you get, the harder the exercise will be. Then, with the exhale, return to the starting position in a controlled manner and then go straight into another repetition. Advanced individuals can try this while standing up. It is done by slowly bending towards the ball, leaning on it with your forearms and descending to that position and eventually getting into plank. Then, by activating the abdominal muscles, return in a controlled manner.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back, small range of motion.
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5. Reverse Crunch

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, place the exercise ball between your ankles and press it firmly. Extend your legs and place your arms next to your body. You can place your hands under the buttocks from the side, making it easier to keep your lower back on the mat.
  • Execution: With the exhale, activate the abdominal muscles, lift the ball off the mat with slightly bent legs and bring it towards your head. Focus on the lower back, which should remain on the mat. With the inhale, return to the starting position (without placing the ball on the ground) and repeat the exercise. Beginners can bend their legs a little more.
  • Common mistakes:Small range of motion, lifting the back off the mat, insufficient activation of the abdominal muscles, uncontrolled movement.
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6. Reverse Crunch With Hips Up

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, place the exercise ball between your ankles and press it firmly. You can leave your legs slightly bent and place your arms next to your body.You can place your hands under the buttocks from the side, making it easier to keep your lower back on the mat.
  • Execution: With the exhale, activate the abdominal muscles, lift the ball off the mat with your legs and bring it towards your head. When it’s up, lift the pelvis upwards, just a few inches above the ground. Then, with the inhale, place it back in a controlled manner and return to your starting position (without placing the ball on the ground). Then go for another repetition.
  • Common mistakes:Small range of motion, insufficient activation of abdominal muscles, uncontrolled movement.
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7. Pike

  • Starting position: Get into a plank position with your hands and place your hands approximately under your shoulders. Extend your legs and place your feet and shins on the ball. Embrace your core and keep the body and try to keep it in a straight line.
  • Execution: By activating the abdominal muscles, lift the hips upwards and try to get the hips in line with the shoulders. You can increase the range of motion gradually. The legs and arms should remain extended. Stay in the upper position for 1-2 seconds and then return to the starting position of the plank and repeat the exercise.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back in the starting position.
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8. Easier version: Tuck Ups

  • Starting position: Get into a plank position with your hands and place your hands approximately under your shoulders. Extend your legs and place your feet and shins on the ball. Embrace your core and keep the body and try to keep it in a straight line.
  • Execution: Roll the ball by pulling the knees towards the chest. Then return to the plank position and repeat the exercise.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back, small range of motion.
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9. Knee Drive

  • Starting position: Place your back on the ball, bend your knees and leave your feet on the mat. Bend your arms and raise them in front of your chest. Activate the core.
  • Execution: With the exhale, lift one leg off the mat to the height where your hands are. You can lightly touch your palm with your knee, then return your foot to the ground with the inhale and continue with the other foot. During this exercise, focus mainly on maintaining stability. In the beginning, all you have to do is lift your foot just a few inches off the ground. Then try to increase this distance with each workout.
  • Common mistakes: Uncontrolled movement, small range of motion.
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10. Windshield Wipers

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, place the exercise ball between your ankles and press it firmly. You can leave your legs slightly bent and place your arms to the sides. They will serve as your support. Use your feet to lift the ball to the ceiling. Keep your back on the mat.
  • Execution: As you exhale, start laying the ball on one side (it does not have to touch the ground). At the same time, try to keep your arms and upper back on the mat. Then return to the centre with the inhale and slowly start laying the ball on the other side. Return it to the starting position and do it again. Advanced individuals can try to keep their legs as straight as possible and achieve maximum range of motion while maintaining the right technique.
  • Common mistakes: Uncontrolled movement, small range of motion.
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11. Crunches

  • Starting position: Lie on your back on the exercise ball, bend your knees and leave your feet on the ground. Put your hands up and you can cross them over your head. You can also perform this exercise with your arms folded at your elbows and your palms resting on your head next to your ears.
  • Execution: Perform crunches by activating the abdominal muscles. Inhale when you’re down, exhale when you’re up. When moving up, only the upper back rises from the ball. Advanced individuals can hold a barbell or a weight plate to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
  • Common mistakes: Insufficient involvement of abdominal muscles, uncontrolled movement.

12. Oblique Crunches

  • Starting position: Lie on your back on the exercise ball, bend your knees and leave your feet on the ground. Bend your arms at the elbows and place your palms on your head next to your ears.
  • Execution: With the exhale, activate the abdominal muscles and curl the left side of your body toward your right knee. At the same time, point the elbow of your left arm to the knee of your right leg. When moving up, only the upper back should rise from the ball. Then, with the inhale, return to the starting position and perform the exercise to the left side. You can increase the range of motion gradually.
  • Common mistakes: Insufficient involvement of abdominal muscles, uncontrolled movement.
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13. Mountain Climbers

  • Starting position: Rest your forearms on the ball and extend your legs. Tighten your core and try to keep the body in a straight line.
  • Execution: With the exhale, lift one foot off the ground and try to touch the ball with your knee. With the inhale, return to the starting position and perform the exercise with the other leg. The upper body should remain in a stable position and the movement comes only from the lower limbs. Continue until you have completed one set. During the exercise, make sure that your pelvis does not go down or up. Advanced individuals can try this exercise with extended arms.
  • Common mistakes: Bending your back, excessive lifting or dropping of the pelvis.
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13. Sit Ups

  • Starting position: Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your calves on the ball. Touch your head lightly with your fingers and keep your elbows open. If you still have a tendency to pull your elbows together, cross your arms over your chest.
  • Execution: With the exhale, activate the abdominal muscles and lift the head and upper back from the mat. The lower back should stay on the ground. Always look forwards and don’t tilt your head. All you have to do is lift yourself a few inches. Then, with the inhale, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
  • Common mistakes: Using your hands for leverage, small range of motion, insufficient activation of abdominal muscles.
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Training with an exercise ball to strengthen the core of the body

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What now?

  • If you are looking for bodyweight ab exercises, you will find the most effective ones in our article 21 Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises.
  • Lower abs exercises can be found in the article Lower Abs: 13 Best Body Weight Exercises.
  • If you don’t have much time for the exercise, try the Effective 6-Minute Abs Workout.
  • If your dream is a six-pack, instructions on how to get it can be found in the article A Proven Guide to a Six-Pack: Diet and Training Routine for Sculpted Abs.

What should you remember?

Including exercise ball exercises can be a great way to diversify your workout, prevent stagnation and get better results and it will comprehensively strengthen your abs and the core of your body. At the same time, you will work on your balance and coordination. We have variants for both beginners and advanced, so it will fit into the training plan of each of you. In addition, if you gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise, add more repetitions or sets, you will also adhere to the principle of progressive overload.This is key to muscle growth and shaping any body part. What’s more, don’t forget about relaxation and a good diet. Those are also important for achieving results.

Was this article helpful to you? If so, share it with your friends and get them inspired for an exercise ball abs workout.

Fit balls and balance pads

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Sources:

[1] Larsen, E. 4 Proven Benefits of Stability Ball Exercises: Science And Facts. – https://www.hometraininghero.com/benefits-stability-ball-exercises-science-behind-effectiveness/

[2] Yu, W., Cha, S., & Seo, S. The effect of ball exercise on the balance ability of young adults.– https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.29.2087

[3] Srivastav, P., Nayak, N., Nair, S., Sherpa, L. B., & Dsouza, D. Swiss Ball Versus Mat Exercises For Core Activation of Transverse Abdominis in Recreational Athletes. – https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/23102.8972

[4] T NATION. The Thinking Man’s Guide to Ab training. – https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-thinking-mans-guide-to-ab-training/

FAQs

Are exercise balls good for abs? ›

Core-strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. You can do many core-strength exercises with a fitness ball.

How do you tone your stomach with an exercise ball? ›

For crunches on the ball. Start by sitting on the ball with feet hip distance apart. And then walk

How do I strengthen my core with exercise ball? ›

Lie faceup on the ball, with the ball under your low back. Keep your feet on the floor, hip-width apart, and hands behind your ears. Brace your core, tighten glutes, and slowly crunch upper body upward, raising shoulders off the ball and tucking your chin to chest. Slowly lower upper body down to return to start.

What is the 5 fastest way to strengthen your core? ›

Pull the low back down and when you're ready extend those legs forward at a 45 or maybe just a few

Does sitting on an exercise ball strengthen your core? ›

Exercise balls are excellent for strengthening your core muscles. The main benefit of the exercise ball is this: It helps you exercise your pelvis, back, and abdomen muscles, often referred to as your core.

What exercise burn the most belly fat? ›

Some great cardio of aerobic exercises for belly fat include:
  • Walking, especially at a quick pace.
  • Running.
  • Biking.
  • Rowing.
  • Swimming.
  • Cycling.
  • Group fitness classes.

Does bouncing on a ball help abs? ›

Specific moves, such as ball crunches, ball passes and roll outs, target your ab muscles directly, but doing something as simple as bouncing on the ball challenges your entire core, which includes your back and hip muscles, to be stronger and healthier.

How do I get rid of fat on my stomach? ›

To battle belly fat:
  1. Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. ...
  2. Replace sugary beverages. ...
  3. Keep portion sizes in check. ...
  4. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

How do I flatten my tummy? ›

Techniques that may help people get a flat stomach include:
  1. Add cardio. Share on Pinterest Running is effective in trimming a person's midsection. ...
  2. Eat more fiber. ...
  3. Limit refined carbs. ...
  4. Increase protein intake. ...
  5. Do exercises while standing, not sitting. ...
  6. Add resistance training. ...
  7. Eat more monounsaturated fatty acids. ...
  8. Move more.
6 Mar 2019

Which exercise ball size is right for me? ›

Choosing the Right Exercise Ball
Exercise ball diameterPerson's height
45 cm5' and under
55 cm5'1"– 5'8"
65 cm5'9"– 6'2"
75 cm6'3"– 6'7"
1 more row

Are exercise balls good for seniors? ›

Because fitness balls help improve balance and strength without putting stress on bones and joints, they are a particularly useful fitness tool for seniors to help maintain an independent, active lifestyle. Remember that, like any exercise program, using a fitness ball takes a little getting used to.

Can you work core everyday? ›

A toning style core routine can be performed 4-6 days per week once you have built up your tolerance for those exercises, but if you become overly sore you may need to take a 48 hour break to allow muscles to properly heal. Just make sure you take at least one day off each week, even if you never get sore.

How do I strengthen my core after 60? ›

7 Standing Core Exercises for Seniors
  1. Core strength is important for improving posture, avoiding injuries, and maintaining balance. ...
  2. Exercise 1: Twist. ...
  3. Exercise 2: Crunch. ...
  4. Exercise 3: Core Rotation. ...
  5. Exercise 4: Side Bend. ...
  6. Exercise 5: Wood Chop. ...
  7. Exercise 6: Knee Rotation. ...
  8. Exercise 7: Figure-8 Row.
16 Jun 2020

How can I tighten my stomach muscles fast? ›

8-Minute Ab Workout - Best Exercises To Tighten Your Stomach And Tone ...

How long should I sit on an exercise ball? ›

Only use the equipment for a maximum of 20 minutes and alternate between an ergonomic office chair. Focus on pulling the tummy button in to keep the ball stable and keep feet flat on the floor. Make sure you purchase a ball with anti-burst technology.

Is a Swiss ball better than a chair? ›

Virtually all of the research points to exercise balls causing more problems than solutions, and most experts recommend sticking to a traditional (ergonomically correct) office chair.

Are exercise balls worth it? ›

Using exercise balls while exercising can provide some amazing benefits such as back and spine health, core stability, better posture and muscle balance. It only seems logical that using them more frequently or for longer periods of time could help even more.

What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat? ›

7 Foods that Burn Belly Fat
  • Beans. “Becoming a bean lover can help you lose weight and whittle your middle,” registered dietitian Cynthia Sass told Today. ...
  • Swap your beef for salmon. ...
  • Yogurt. ...
  • Red bell peppers. ...
  • Broccoli. ...
  • Edamame. ...
  • Diluted vinegar.

Where do you lose fat first? ›

Mostly, losing weight is an internal process. You will first lose hard fat that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and then you will start to lose soft fat like waistline and thigh fat. The fat loss from around the organs makes you leaner and stronger.

How do you get rid of lower belly pooch fast? ›

6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat, Based on Science
  1. Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks. Foods with added sugars are bad for your health. ...
  2. Eat more protein. Protein may be the most important macronutrient for weight loss. ...
  3. Eat fewer carbohydrates. ...
  4. Eat fiber-rich foods. ...
  5. Exercise regularly.
25 Nov 2019

Are Swiss ball crunches safe? ›

Swiss Ball Crunches. This exercise is considered safe for the lower back because it does not involve acrobatic positions that are bad for the back.

Does bouncing on a ball count as steps? ›

Yes, bouncing on an exercise ball does count as steps. If you are falling behind on your recommended daily steps, smartwatches such as Fitbit and Apple Watch will record each bounce as one.

How many calories do I burn bouncing on an exercise ball? ›

Stop Sitting and Start Bouncing.

Well, trading in your office chair for an exercise ball can help you burn an extra 50 calories an hour, says personal trainer Monica Vazquez from New York Sports Clubs.

What drink burns belly fat overnight? ›

6 bedtime drinks that can boost weight loss overnight
  • Greek yogurt protein shake. As noted above, having protein before bed—especially if you've worked out beforehand—helps stimulate the repair and rebuilding of muscle (muscle protein synthesis) while you sleep. ...
  • Chamomile tea. ...
  • Red wine. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Soy-based protein shake. ...
  • Water.
26 May 2022

How do you get rid of belly fat after 50? ›

Sass recommends eating a healthy, balanced, plant-based diet. “Plant foods rich in monounsaturated fat — avocado and avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, whole Mediterranean olives and olive tapenade, nuts and nut butter — as part of a healthy balanced diet may help reduce belly fat,” she says.

Which fruit is good for flat tummy? ›

Pineapples too are rich in weight-loss-friendly fibres. It contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This enzyme helps in metabolizing proteins that help cut down belly fat. A bowlful of strawberries may prove very instrumental in shedding belly fat.

Does holding in your stomach help flatten it? ›

Suck in your stomach.

Not only will this move instantly make your stomach look flatter, but you will also be giving your abs a workout. Your deep core muscles are activated by sucking in your stomach and the longer you suck in, the more toned your core will be.

How inflated Should an exercise ball be? ›

You determine the correct exercise ball size by diameter rather than pressure. Do not inflate the ball beyond the recommended size. Inflate the ball to about 80% of diameter initially.

How big should my Swiss ball be? ›

Recommended Exercise Ball Size
Exercise ball diameterPerson's height
45 cm5′ and under
55 cm5'1″– 5'8″
65 cm5'9″– 6'2″
75 cm6'3″– 6'7″
1 more row
16 Apr 2022

Is exercise ball too small? ›

If you're too short, your feet may not even hit the ground while lying or sitting on the ball. A good indicator of the right size of ball is when you're sitting on the ball, your hips should be at the same level of your knees and your knees should be at a 90° angle.

How do you use an exercise ball for beginners? ›

Stability ball for beginners total body workout l 16 Minutes Full Body

How do you use a senior stability ball? ›

Stability Ball Workout for Beginners & Seniors // Fun Exercises ... - YouTube

What to eat while trying to get abs? ›

Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fatty fish, and tea can all help accelerate fat burning and improve body composition. Meanwhile, you'll want to avoid fried foods, sugary snacks, refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and excessive alcohol intake.

How do you know if you have a strong core? ›

Lie facedown on the floor, but instead of placing your hands beneath your shoulders as you would for a pushup, slide them forward until your thumbs are in line with the top of your forehead. Now try to push yourself up. If your back can stay perfectly straight, your core is solid.

What happens if you do ab workouts everyday? ›

When you train your abs daily, your muscle endurance goes up, according to a study published in the journal Sports Medicines. But for that you have to do targeted exercises for all four different parts of your core.

Does bouncing on a ball help abs? ›

Specific moves, such as ball crunches, ball passes and roll outs, target your ab muscles directly, but doing something as simple as bouncing on the ball challenges your entire core, which includes your back and hip muscles, to be stronger and healthier.

Are crunches on a ball better? ›

A study by researchers at the Department of Kinesiology at Occidental College in Los Angeles says yes. The study found that crunches performed on a stability ball (a.k.a. fitness ball or Balance Ball) boosted activation, or flexing, of abdominal muscles by 24 to 38 percent over crunches done without a ball.

How do you work your lower abs on an exercise ball? ›

Lower Abdomen Exercises With an Exercise Ball - YouTube

What size stability ball should I get? ›

Choosing the Right Exercise Ball
Exercise ball diameterPerson's height
45 cm5' and under
55 cm5'1"– 5'8"
65 cm5'9"– 6'2"
75 cm6'3"– 6'7"
1 more row

Are Swiss ball crunches safe? ›

Swiss Ball Crunches. This exercise is considered safe for the lower back because it does not involve acrobatic positions that are bad for the back.

Does bouncing on a ball count as steps? ›

Yes, bouncing on an exercise ball does count as steps. If you are falling behind on your recommended daily steps, smartwatches such as Fitbit and Apple Watch will record each bounce as one.

How long should I sit on an exercise ball? ›

Only use the equipment for a maximum of 20 minutes and alternate between an ergonomic office chair. Focus on pulling the tummy button in to keep the ball stable and keep feet flat on the floor. Make sure you purchase a ball with anti-burst technology.

How many ball crunches should I do? ›

10-12 repetitions and three sets of crunches will be good enough. In addition, you may do three sets of two or three variations to engage the other muscles in the stomach.

What exercises strengthen core muscles? ›

Abdominal crunches are a classic core-strength exercise:
  • Lie on your back and place your feet on a wall so that your knees and hips are bent at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Raise your head and shoulders off the floor. ...
  • Return to the start position and repeat.

What to eat while trying to get abs? ›

Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fatty fish, and tea can all help accelerate fat burning and improve body composition. Meanwhile, you'll want to avoid fried foods, sugary snacks, refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and excessive alcohol intake.

How can I get abs in 2 weeks? ›

GET ABS IN 2 WEEKS CHALLENGE | How To Get Six Pack Abs - YouTube

Can you get a six pack with planks? ›

While the plank, and its numerous variations, are excellent at training your core in a functional way — assisting with stability, posture and spinal alignment — the move alone will not give you a six-pack, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

How do you use a weight ball for abs? ›

10-Minute Medicine Ball Abs Workout - YouTube

How do you use an exercise ball for beginners? ›

Stability ball for beginners total body workout l 16 Minutes Full Body

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