World champion tennis player, Serena Williams, is a role model for female strength, passion, and confidence. Earlier this year, the 35-year-old mama-to-be won the Australian Open while 2 months pregnant! While she seems to be super human, Serena has made is clear that, like most of us non-world champion humans, she actually hates going to the gym. It’s her passion for her sport and determination to be the best player possible that gets her up and training every day. She does a combination of workouts from weight training and stability ball exercises to calisthenics and dance classes to stay in shape. When Serena was not pregnant, she shared some of her favorite weight-free workouts on her Nike+ Training Club app that help her get into championship shape. Here are 3 of Serena’s favorite moves using a stability ball to get a strong core.
1. Stability Ball Transfer– (Do for 3.5 min.)- Lay on the floor with your back down, arms above your head, and the stability ball between your feet. Lift the ball up with your legs, initiating from your core. Simultaneously lift your arms up as you crunch up to transfer the ball to your hands. Lower your arms and legs back down with control and then repeat the same motion, transferring the ball back to your feet. Continue passing the ball back and forth until time is up.
2. Stability Ball Knee Tucks (Do for 3.5 min.)- Lie face down on top of the ball with the ball under the front of your knees. Your hands will be on the floor to hold your upper body up in a plank position and your legs will be straight behind you off the ground. Keep your abs pulled into your back. Tuck your knees in towards your chest to roll the ball under your shins. Extend the legs back out to return to the start position. Keep repeating until time is up.
3. Stability Ball Back Extension (Do for 4 minutes)- Lie face down on the ball with it under your torso. Your legs should be slightly separated and your toes touching the ground for support. Place your hands behind your head with the elbows open. Your body’s starting position will be rounding slightly forward over the ball. Use your back muscles to lift your head neck and shoulders up off the ball as high as you can for the back extension. Lower back down and repeat.
A stability ball is an excellent workout prop that can be used to challenge your entire body. Have you ever worked out with a stability ball before? Were you happy with the results?
Also by Crystal: How To Master Crow Pose (Finally!) & Chisel Your Core In The Process
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Photo: Serena Williams via Instagram; Video: Crystal Chin