Stability Ball Crunch vs. Floor Crunch

Sep 22, 2008
Stability Ball Crunch vs. Floor Crunch

What abdominal crunches are better? Floor or ball?

Which is the most effective way to sculpt my Abs?


If you are a person who is concerned with not wasting your time with exercises that are not effective but still can't figure out why your current ab routine isn't working, well this might be the answer. According to a study comparing the electromyography  output(science jargon for measuring the effectiveness of an exercise using electrical output) of different ab exercises by the The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, if your not using a stability ball you may be holding yourself back.

The study compared three different exercises:


1. The standard floor crunch

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2. A stability ball crunch where the user places the ball under the upper back,

3. A stability ball crunch where the user places the ball under their lower back.

The Outcome 

The results were very interesting in that they showed the MUSCLE activity to be the strongest by far when the user did the crunch on the ball with it was placed low on the back near what is called your lower lumbar region. The traditional floor crunch was second and the upper back placed stability ball crunch third. And get this; the lower lumbar placed ball crunch was actually DOUBLE the effectiveness of the higher placed ball crunch, DOUBLE. The unstable surface of using a stability ball creates more muscle activation in the abdominal area so you get more out of the workout.

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