Stability Ball Knee Tucks: A Killer Core Exercise

Stability Ball Knee Tucks: A Killer Core Exercise

If you’re looking for a killer core workout that challenges your balance and gets every abdominal muscle engaged, look no further than your stability ball. One of the best ways to use it: stability ball knee tucks — also known as a jackknife. (And once you’ve nailed this one, here are other stability ball exercises to master.)

 

How to Do Stability Ball Knee Tucks

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do stability ball knee tucks with perfect form.

Stability Ball Exercises - Jacknife

Step 1: Find your high plank, with the ball under you.

  • The first trick to stability ball knee tucks is simply to find the starting position. This can be a bit of a challenge.
  • The easiest way to start is to place your belly on the stability ball and then walk your hands forward over the floor until the ball is underneath your shins and ankles.
  • Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders for strong plank alignment, and press the top of your feet down into the ball for stability.

Step 2: Engage your core.

  • While you’re on the stability ball, your core is what’s keeping you in place.
  • Keep those abs tight so you don’t roll off the ball.
  • By engaging your core, you’re ensuring a strong, aligned plank position without dropping into your low back.

Step 3: Tuck your knees.

  • Now it’s time to do the work. Exhale as you draw your knees into your chest.
  • Engage your abs as your knees are pulled into your chest.

Step 4: Extend.

  • On your inhale, straighten your legs behind you, returning to your starting position.
  • Make sure your shoulders are still stacked on top of your wrists.

Step 5: Repeat.

  • Challenge yourself to start with 10 repetitions of the stability ball knee tucks.

 

Muscles Worked With Stability Ball Knee Tucks

Stability ball knee tucks are a great way to target your abs, but abs aren’t the only muscles you’ll use.

Abs

The main muscles you’re working during stability ball knee tucks are your abs. This exercise targets your entire core, from your six-pack rectus abdominus to the side obliques to your underlying “corset” abs (the transverse abdominus). This is truly a full-ab exercise.

Hip Flexors

Your hip flexors, or psoas, support your abs and help to bring your knees to your chest. So if the front of your hips are feeling sore the next day, that’s totally normal.

Shoulders

While you’re holding a plank position, your shoulders are stabilizing your position—and, also important, they’re keeping you from face-planting.

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About

After grabbing her journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, Page hopped a plane to backpack through Europe. She was hooked. To sustain her travel habit, Page is a freelance writer, editor, author, and RYT 500 through Yoga Alliance. When not in Austin, Texas fostering kittens, you can find Page traveling the world, scuba diving, hiking, visiting museums, and sampling the local cuisine.