Many people come to strength classes expecting to work their core. Traditionally, group fitness classes have ended with roughly 10 minutes of abdominal exercises. If all Group X classes end with ab workouts, it can start to feel repetitive, so it’s important to keep adding new exercises to the mix. On Monday, I shared four core and ab workouts to try with the stability ball. Today, I’m sharing four more challenging options to add a punch of variety to your next Group X class.
Abdominal Exercises #1: Knee Tucks
Ask participants to come into a plank position with their feet and calves on the stability ball. So, hands are on the floor and feet are on the ball. Then, bring your knees into your chest while trying to keep your hips as low and static as possible. Shoot your legs back out into a plank position, and that’s one knee tuck.
If folks don’t want to do this on the stability ball, they can also do slow mountain climbers on the floor.
Abdominal Exercises #2: Upside Down V
This next exercise is super challenging. I have not taught this one in a Group X class yet, but I have done it in another class targeting advanced athletes. Come back to that plank position, with hands on the floor and feet on the ball. Then, participants will lift their hips up in a “pike” position. It will feel like you’re folding yourself up into a taco, with your ankles coming towards your head and hips in the air. Back, arms and legs are all straight. Then, come back into a plank position.
If participants want modifications, they can always stick to the Knee Tucks, or ditch the stability ball and do planks and mountain climbers.
Abdominal Exercises #3: Crunches
This one’s a standard exercise, but adding the stability ball brings its own set of challenges. Have participants sit on the stability ball, then roll out until their lower back and hips are resting on the ball. Knees right over ankles, and hands behind the head.
You’ll crunch towards the ceiling, engaging your core as you try to keep your balance centered on the stability ball.
Abdominal Exercises #4: Twist
After the crunches, you can seamlessly transition to the Twist, but I’ll warn you these are challenging. Participants will lift one leg off the ground, and bring their knee towards their chest while twisting their upper body towards that leg. One note in this exercise is to think about bringing your shoulder to your knee, instead of your elbow, to really get your chest lifted and twisting.
I’ll be honest, these are challenging for me. What you don’t see in the image below is that I had to do a handful of outtakes because I kept rolling off the ball. But, I’ll still teach this exercise in class, because it’s nice to have options that participants can’t fully master immediately, so that they have something to work towards.
The above options will add some fresh variety to the abdominal exercises you already teach in your classes.
For more ideas, check out the workout routines page.