You can increase the difficulty of the
stability ball plank drastically by simply moving the arms forward a couple of
inches. Moving your arms forward increases the work on the core as well as the
shoulder stabilizers. You can push yourself for each repetition and the fatigue
will build for each repetition. This makes the stability ball advanced plank a
great substitute for holding the regular stability ball plank if you are able to
hold it for extended periods of time.
This is a great exercise for the core but only if proper form is used. As
with all variations of the plank, you must keep your core engaged for the
duration of the exercise. In addition, keep the glutes isometrically
squeezed to ensure you isolate the core muscles which will not put any
negative stress on the lower back.
The MOST IMPORTANT form tip to follow when doing this exercise is to make
sure when you move your arms forward and back, the ball moves forward and
NOTHING ELSE. All of your joints from ankles to knees, to hips all the way
to your shoulders should remain in the exact position, only your arms moving
forward. It is also especially important not to lower your hips.
You can do this exercise at any point in your core or abdominals workout.
If you plan to perform any exercises in the same workout which stress your
lower back, you may want to avoid doing this plank before as the fatigue of
your core muscles will render your lower back less stable. To increase the
difficulty of this exercise you can put your feet on an unstable surface or
resistance bands to increase plank difficulty.
Safety Issues with the Advanced Swiss Ball Plank
With any exercise the injury risk increases if it is not performed
correctly. The advanced stability ball plank is not a dangerous exercise but
there are 2 circumstances where people could be at risk of injury. The first
scenario involves using bad form. If you do this exercise without following
the basic guidelines for all core exercises, you could throw your lower back
out of alignment causing excruciating pain and the need to see a doctor or
The second thing to be aware of when doing this exercise is to be careful
not to collapse on the floor when you are finished. Since the exercise
really fatigues and burns the stomach muscles, some people have the tendency
to push themselves to the limit then forcefully drop to their knees. If you
are doing this on a hard surface, you could potentially injure your knees so
make sure to either perform them on a more forgiving surface or simply don't
slam your knees when you finish a set.