Now Functionally Fitmoves towards the center of the body in the first entry of the core miniseries.In this progression, Brian Schiff analyzes stability ball ab circles, a greatexercise for the entire core as well as the upper body and shoulders.

See 'RelatedResources' below for past Functionally Fits (includingthe core miniseries) andother exercises and training tips.


Begin in a three-point position with the feetshoulder-width apart and the hands on the outer portion of the stability ball. Tryto keep the entire body in a straight line throughout the exercise.

Slowly rotate the stability ball clockwisefor 10 repetitions. Then repeat in a counter-clockwise direction. Perform twoto three sets as desired.

Thisexercise is phenomenal for training the entire core while strengthening theupper body and improving shoulder stability. Begin with smaller circles, andprogress to larger circles for added difficulty. You may also bring the feettogether or circle further away from the body (longer lever arm) tosignificantly increase the level of challenge with this exercise.

It may be best to advise clients to simulatethe movement on their knees prior to moving to the toes to become familiar withthe desired motion.

Additional Notes
Iprefer to allow the client to maintain a soft elbow bend in each arm as opposedto locking the joint. This ensures greater muscle activation and reduces thepotential for undue stress on the elbow or shoulder.

This exercise can be incorporated as part ofan active warm-up or effective core training drill during the workout. Slowingthe speed of the circles will maximize tension on the abdominals throughout. Theonly precaution is making sure the client does not get the ball too far forward,leading to a rapid and forceful flexion moment at the gleno-humeral joint. Therefore,spot at or near the head and shoulders to prevent this from occurring, shouldthe client start to lose control.

Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS ( is a licensed physicaltherapist, respected author and fitness professional. He became a CertifiedStrength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in 1998. In 2000, he opened his ownpersonal training and sport-specific conditioning facility, Fitness Edge, inDublin, Ohio. Brian has presented at several professional conferences andseminars on injury prevention and sport-specific training.