Video blog: Stability ball exercises

Stability (or Swiss, physio or balance) balls are a great way to challenge your muscles.  Performing exercises on the ball rather than on a table can improve your balance, coordination, and strength of stabilizing muscles.  Movement patterns done with or on the ball are great for building core strength and improving proprioception.  Proprioception is how your body communicates and maintains balance with tendons, ligaments and muscles.  The unstable surface of the ball “turns on” your muscles to be ready in an instant to help stabilize; resulting in improved strength and stability of your shoulders, hips and core.

What size do I need?  Most stability balls come in a box labeled based on height.

Your Height Ball Height Ball Size
Up to 4’10” 35cm Small
4’8”-5’5” 45cm Medium
5’6”-6’0” 55cm Large
6’0”-6’5” 65cm Extra Large
Over 6’5” 75cm Extra, Extra Large


At first, these exercises may seem very difficult and awkward.  You may have never done anything like this before, so give your body a chance to learn the movement pattern and initiate muscle activation.  A full-length mirror can be beneficial to helping you see your body and if you are performing correctly.

Follow this blog for a new stability ball exercise every week for the next 9 weeks.  You may perform each exercise 2 sets of 10-15 reps.  Watch for cues to progress the exercises.

The first exercise is:

Lateral Roll

Starting Position: Sit on the ball and slowly walk out so that your back comes in contact with the ball.  Walk out until your shoulders are in the middle of the ball.  Squeeze your butt to lift your trunk into a table top position with knees bent to 90 degrees.  Extend your arms out to the sides so they are in a straight line and rotate your hands so they are palm up.

Procedure: Keep your glutes (butt muscles) squeezed and slowly roll across the ball shoulder to shoulder.

Where: You should feel this in your glutes and the sides of your trunk.

Make it harder: Increase the distance that you roll out onto the ball.

Do you have a particular exercise that you’d like us to demonstrate?  Let us know by commenting on this blog article.

About Sarah Schultz

Sarah is a Licensed Athletic Trainer at Sports, Spine and Work Center. She provides Athletic Training services at Campbellsport High School and provides Industrial Services to the community through WorkSTEPS testing, the Work Hardening Program and doing ergonomic evaluations. She is an avid cyclist and barefoot runner. Sarah’s other interests include dynamic stretching, core strengthening, rehabilitation, muscle recovery techniques, and sports nutrition.

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