Stability ball push-up exercise

Stability ball push-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major
  • Synergists: Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii, Short Head
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Kneel on the floor with a stability ball in front of you.
  2. Lie forward with your chest on top of the ball and your hands placed under your chest, on the surface of the ball.
  3. Extend your feet, and straighten your legs and torso.


  1. Keeping your core tight, exhale as you carefully push your body up until your arms are almost fully extended.
  2. Balance in the extended position for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your core tight so that your body doesn’t sag.
  • To make it easier to balance, spread your legs out wide.
  • The stability ball push-up is more difficult than it may seem. Learn how to perform the standard push-up before graduating to this exercise.
  • To make the stability ball push-up more difficult, elevate your legs. You can also place your legs on a separate ball or place each hand on a separate ball. See second and third videos. Note, however, that these advanced variations can be dangerous.
  • The stability ball push-up is not a mass-building exercise. The novelty of the exercise is that the unstable surface of the ball forces the recruitment of many more leg and core stabilizer muscles than the regular push-up. The end result is a better functional and core workout, and improved balance and coordination. Some of the stabilizer muscles recruited by the stability ball push-up include the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, and quadriceps.
  • Also known as the Swiss ball push-up.
  • See also the shoulder tap push-up and the weighted push-up.


Stability ball push-up

Push-up on two stability balls

Push-up on three stability balls

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