5 Ways to Get Toned With A Pilates Ball

Adiós, muffin top.

By Marnie Duncan
moves to do with a pilates ball

It’s easy to plateau or burn out with exercises that use solely body weight, so at MOD Fitness we love incorporating props like resistance bands and the pilates ball to effectively challenge our bodies, target hard-to-tone areas, and take our workouts to the next level. They’re also an amazing addition to your at-home workouts, as they take up little space, but add a lot of value to your exercise routine. Today, we’ve put together a group of 5 exercises that you can do at home to blast your legs, glutes, abs, arms and back. All you need is a pilates ball or playground ball and you’re ready to go!

image by urban outfitters

Standing Lunge with Pilates Ball

This exercise will target your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes to help trim and tone your lower body.

1. Grab a chair that you can use for balance (if yours is too lightweight, have a friend sit in it and take turns doing this exercise!). Stand behind the chair and place the pilates ball under your right foot.

2. Slowly lower into a reverse lunge with the ball resting underneath your back shin.

3. Extend your right leg back to target the glute as the ball rolls along the ground.

4. Slide the ball along the ground to bring the knee back to starting position.

5. Do 10 reps on each side and switch sides.

Pretzel with Pilates Ball

Seated pretzel is a staple of barre fitness classes. It’s an effective exercise to tone the dreaded muffin top area we all know so well.

1. Sit on the floor with your left leg forward and right leg back. Bend your left knee in front of your left hip to make a 90 degree angle. Your right knee is behind your hip.

2. Place the ball underneath your right ankle so your foot is higher than your knee. Place your left hand on the ground and your right hand on your hip.

3. Start by lifting your knee off the floor while pressing your ankle down on the ball. You will feel the side of your seat engage. Lift and lower the knee 30 times.

4. Next, push the ball back 2-3 inches with your ankle resting on the ball. Do 30 reps and repeat the set on the opposite site.

Tabletop Pushups with Pilates Ball

Push-ups are a great way to work your chest and arms, and by adding the instability of a pilates ball, you’ll give your core a major challenge.

1. Start by setting up in a straight arm plank position with the ball underneath your shins and hands directly underneath your shoulders.

2. Press the top of your feet into the ball and use your abdominals to bend your knees towards your chest into a tabletop position.

3. Bend your elbows and lower into a pushup while balancing on the ball. Do 15 tabletop pushups.

4. Slowly extend your legs straight while balancing on the ball. Take a quick break and repeat.

Prone with Pilates Ball

So much of our day-to-day life is spent on our phones and computer that we neglect our back muscles. Extension work helps to improve your posture and back muscles.

1. Start by lying on the floor with your legs and arms extended straight. Place your hands on top of the pilates ball with your wrists flat.

2. Push down on the ball with your palms and lift your upper body off the mat.

3. While your upper body is elevated, lift the ball off the mat and hold for 10 seconds.

4. Release the ball down to the ground. Repeat 10 reps.

Kickstand Abs with Pilates Ball

1. Start on your forearms with elbows underneath your shoulders and knees over your hips in a tabletop position. Place the ball behind your knees.

2. Press your sacrum (lower back) into the mat for support and slowly lower your legs to the floor.

3. Bring your knees back over your hips for 1 rep. Repeat 20 times.


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