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Stability Ball Workout for Hikers

Become a better and stronger hiker with this easy-to-follow workout! 
Stability Ball Workout.jpg
Warm Up

Before beginning any workout, it is always a good idea to warm up. A proper warm up readies the body for activity and helps avoid injury.


Perform 10 reps of each of the following to warm up:

  • Shoulder circles 10 reps in each direction.

  • Arm circles 10 reps in each direction.

  • Knee hugs 10 reps each side.

  • Windmills 10 reps each side.

  • Woodchoppers with stability ball, 10 reps each side.

Stability Ball Workout

Perform the following circuit 3 times through: 

Shoulders and Back

Stability Ball Walkout

This exercise works the arms, shoulders, and core. Lying over the stability ball, walk hands out until thighs, knees, or calves are on the ball. With control, walk hands back. Repeat for 10 reps. 

*To add difficulty, add a push up after you walk out. 

Plank to Side Plank

Lie over the ball in the plank position. Twist your upper body to the side, extending one arm toward the ceiling. Hold the position for a count of 2-3 then return to plank, twist and extend the other arm. Repeat for 10 reps each side. 

Ys, Is, and Ts

Lying over the ball, pull your shoulder blades together and down. Place hands overhead in a Y, then out to the side in a T, then by your side in an I. Hold each position for a count of 1. Repeat for 10 reps.

*To add difficulty, hold a light hand weight or small object while doing the exercises. 

Russian Twist

Lie on your back on the ball with hips and knees at 90 degrees. Clasp hands and extend overhead. Keeping feet planted and hips stable, twist with control from side to side, pulling back to center using your oblique muscles. Repeat for 10 reps. 

*To add difficulty, hold a dumbbell securely in your hands. 

Squat Thrust

Lie back on the ball, feet hip width apart, hold arms over chest and roll down to a seated position with your back on the ball. Thrust back powerfully with your legs for a count of 1. Squeeze for a count of 1. Then lower yourself to the start position with control for a count of 3. Repeat for 10 reps. 

*This exercise is especially good for those with knee pain when walking downhill. 

*To add difficulty, hold a weight or loaded backpack to your chest while doing the exercise. 

Legs and Core

Stability Ball Bridge Progression

Lie on your back and perform one of the three bridge variations for 10 reps: 

1. With heels on the ball lift hips for a count of 1, squeeze for a count of 1, and slowly lower for a count of 3. 

2. With feet flat on the ball, bend knees and hips and lift hips for a count of 1, squeeze for a count of 1, and slowly lower for a count of 3.

3. With one foot flat on the ball and knee bent and one foot lifted toward the ceiling, lift hips for a count of 1, squeeze for a count of 1, and slowly lower for a count of 3.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

In the bent knee bridge position, straighten knees and roll ball away from your body. Dig in heels and pull the ball back toward your body with your hamstrings. Perform 10 reps. 

*To add difficulty, try with one leg. 

Stability Ball Dead Bug

Lie on your back and bring your knees and legs to table top position. Squeeze the ball between your knees and extended arms. Extend leg and opposite arm away from your body to hover over the floor while squeezing the ball with the other arm and leg. Slowly return to start position and repeat on the other side. Perform 10 reps on each side. 

Stability Ball Ab Roll Up

Lie on your back, feet on the floor and knees bent. Squeeze the ball between your arms and knees. Perform a crunch, rolling your arms up the ball and continuing to squeeze. Perform 10 reps. 

Stability Ball Pass

Lie on your back holding the ball in your hands. Pass the ball to your feet and lower legs to hover on the floor. Lift your legs and pass the ball back to your hands. Extend your arms overhead to hover over the floor. As you pass the ball back and forth from feet to hands, keep pelvis in a neutral position and abs contracted. A pass to feet and hands is 1 rep. Perform 10 reps. 

Arm Dumbbell Sequence

Arm Sequence with Dumbbells

If you have a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells, perform this arm sequence with 10 reps of each exercise. Alternatively, use a small can or jar filled with water or rocks as weights. 

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