Stability Ball Exercises For Runners

The following stability ball exercises are an excellent way to target your core muscles, which is good for your running, and they are a great way to make strength training exercises a bit more fun ;-)

As well as improving core stability, these workouts also strengthen your quads, glutes, back and hip muscles (not to mention improved flexibility)

molly's ball..!

As well as being fun, they are also a serious aid to strength training, helping with injury prevention and improving aspects of your running...

Even just sitting on a stability ball activates the core muscles (I’ve been trying to use mine at my desk but the dogs just think it’s a huge chew toy!!)

First of all you will need to get the right size ball for your height, so check out the guide below:


5' - 5'8"
5'9" - 6'3"
6'4" - 6'9"
6'10" - taller

Ball Size

55 cm
65 cm
75 cm
85 cm

When the ball is fully inflated and you sit upright on it your knees should be at a right angle

Running Tips HQ:

If you are not used to stability ball exercises practise rolling yourself over the ball and keeping your balance, start by kneeling on the floor in front of the ball, lean over it and then roll your body onto the ball, put your hands on the floor in front and ‘walk’ them out till the ball is under your hips and then down to your lower legs and then back.

7 Stability Ball Exercises – Approx. 20 min

These stability ball exercises are a mix of easy (ball crunch) and hard (ball pike up) and we’ve put it together specially for runners so there’s plenty for the legs to do ;-)

Ball Crunch

stability ball exercises - crunch

Position the ball under the lower back, legs in front, bent at right angle and body lay back, cross arms over chest or put hands at side of head

Pull in the abs and lift the torso and then back down

Do 15-20 reps

To make this harder try lifting alternate legs up when you crunch

One Leg Squat And Tuck

squat and tuck

With the ball behind you place one foot on top, as you squat down on supporting leg push the ball back away from you with the other foot, then as you lift up pull the ball back in

Do 10 squats each leg

Straight Leg Bridge And Hamstring Curl

stability ball exercises - bridge

Lie on your back with calves and feet on ball, lift your hips into a bridge position then pull the ball back bending the knees, slowly roll the ball back to bridge then lower the hips

Start with 5 reps

Ball Pass

stability ball pass

Lie on your back with your feet off the floor and legs bent at right angle, hold the ball between the lower legs

Rise up the legs and body together and reach down to take hold of the ball

Lower back down slowly bringing the ball over the head, now reverse the move and give the ball back to your legs. This is 1 rep

Do 5-10 reps

Press Ups On Ball

stability ball press up

Roll over the ball till it’s below hip level (the lower the ball the harder the move), put the arms extended under the shoulders and then lower to a right angle and press up

Do 10 reps

Quad Extension On Ball

quad extension

Start in press up position with the ball under your lower legs and feet, get your balance then pull in the ball by bending the knees under you

Slowly straighten the legs back out

Do 10 reps

Ball Pike Up

stability ball exercises - ball pike up

This is one of the hardest stability ball exercises, so practise

Start in a press up position with the ball under your lower legs, lift your hips up and draw the ball in till you are in an upside down ‘V’ position, hold for a couple of seconds and then go slowly back down

Do 5 reps

Stability Ball And Strength Training Tips…

You can do the stability ball exercises in any order and the whole workout should take you about 20 minutes depending on how many reps you do and how many times you fall off the ball (about 4 times a workout me!)

I advise nice soft carpeting and mats to cushion you…

Have fun, but remember stability ball exercises are a serious strength training workout and an effective injury prevention tool, so while you are having fun you are also being good to your running muscles ;-)

Also try:

Beginner Strength Training (6 exercises)

Strength Training Without Weights (10 exercises)

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