Stability Ball ABC’s For The Core

Before I start writing out this post, I think I should first explain the video above.  I do a monthly fitness segment for CCN Channel 8 News, which is a local news station in central PA, and this is the clip that was filmed and aired on TV this past Friday.  I found the clip on the station’s website and was not aware that I could take the embedded code off their video to share it with you.  So the video format is a little different from what you normally see.  If you like the footage, just let me know and I would be happy, happy, happy to share some other past clips as well.  By the way, my kids love the show Duck Dynasty, so if you watch the show you will understand the “happy x 3” in the previous sentence.

Stability Ball ABC’s:

The stability  ball has been around for a long time and was a very popular training tool 12-15 years ago and still to this day is used in many gyms and training centers.  It’s popularity has seemed to die down over the last few years, but many people do have one in their home and they can be bought almost anywhere relatively cheap.  I have 16 in my University Training Area and we use them all the time; usually to do body weight and core related exercises.  If you have not trained with a stability ball lately, I would encourage you to re-connect with this useful tool.  You might have forgotten how valuable this tool can be.

When doing a Stability Ball ABC, you will want to position your forearms on the ball with your feet on the floor about shoulder width apart.  This will put you in a double forearm bridge or plank position.  If you are not familiar with the double forearm bridge (plank), it is when you position your elbows CORE-136 directly below your shoulders with the forearms flat on the floor.  You then will contract your mid-section as you raise your body off the floor so all that is touching is your forearms and toes while maintaining a straight body line from your head to your feet.  It should also be mentioned here that you will stay contracted through the core tightly without holding your breath.  This will be the same position you are trying to maintain while your arms are on the stability ball for the Stability Ball ABCs.

Now that you are in a plank position on the ball the next step is to start spelling out the alphabet with your forearms in all capital letters.  Again, try to keep your body in a straight line, contracted tight in the mid-section, and not holding your breath.  This sounds pretty easy to do until you give it an honest go.  The task is to do each letter slowly starting at A and ending at Z.  If you fatigue part way through, stop take a small break and then start back up at the letter you ended at.  I recommend doing 2-3 sets of A-Z and I would usually place this at the end or beginning of a full body workout.

I would not suggest anyone trying this exercise until you can successfully hold a double arm bridge (plank) for 2 minutes straight on just the floor.  This exercise will not only strengthen the mid-section of the body but also work all the surrounding structures of the shoulder girdle complex.  Stabilization and proprioception are both key elements to injury prevention and this will help train both of them.

If you do a lot of bridge work than this is exactly what will add in some variety and a fun challenge as well.  I guarantee you will feel the benefits from this exercise.

Hope this helps!

To your health,


PS:  This is in my core manual: The Complete Guide To Core Training” 110 Exercises and 50 Programmed Workouts that can be easily added into any workout or weight training program!!


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About Jerry Shreck

Division 1 Head Strength Coach at Bucknell University, Specialize In The Art of Injury Prevention Training Techniques God Loving Family Man (Wife-Trina & 2 daughters-Alexis & Aleyda)

2 Responses to “Stability Ball ABC’s For The Core”

  1. COACH:

    Yes, you are “on a roll”. If you would care to share the other videos in the TV archive, we’d be glad to see them.

    Und Herr Shreck, nichts kann ich lernen mein A-B-C.


    • Thanks JIMBO for the comment. Got a couple requests for more TV clips, so I will from time to time pull them up and share them in some posts. Also, what language is that in the second line??

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