If you’re a consistent gym-goer, than you’ve seen your peers work out on an exercise ball. They sit on them and lean on them—but the question remains: do they actually do anything to improve a person’s overall fitness level? As it turns out, yep, they sure do. But, only if you do it right. Here’s a few highly effective exercises – all that require an exercise ball!

First Things First!

Exercise BallsNo matter what you call it – an exercise, stability or medicine ball—it all has the potential to do the same thing: get you toned, improve your flexibility, hone in on your balance abilities (and drastically improve it!) and even act as a cardio tool. You may notice exercise balls of different shapes and sizes hanging out at your gym, so make a mental note: when it comes to medicine balls, there’s isn’t a ‘one size fits all.’

If you’re between 4’10”-5’4”, aim for an exercise ball that’s 55 cm. If you’re between 5’4-5’8’, shoot for a exercise ball that’s 75 cm, and if you’re between 5’8”-6’5”, you’ll want the biggest exercise ball you can find (a whopping 75 cm one!) Size is important based on your height, in order to be able to challenge your body and thereby improve your balance, flexibility and strength.

The Wall Squat

The wall squat is a great exercise to start with, especially if you’re a little intimated by the exercise ball. This works like a wall sit does, where you start in the standing position and against the wall. Place the exercise ball against your lower back (so it’s situated between you and the wall). While pressing your back against the ball, roll yourself down to a squat position. Hold this pose for ten seconds (more if you can hang in there!) and go back to your starting position. Repeat!

The Exercise Ball Push-Up

Woman Exercising With Exercise BallIf you want to add something new to your upper body routine, this one will do it! Place your exercise ball on the ground, and lie down on your stomach, face down and your arms extended in front of you (palms flat on the ground). Carefully walk your hands out so that your body is at an incline (until your ankles are resting on the ball) and you’re in a ‘push-up’ position. Push yourself down and back up to the starting push-up position. Try for 10-15. If you can do more, go for it! This a workout that will challenge your body in a whole new way, whether you’re a push-up rookie or professional!