clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You’re going to be seriously sore after this workout with American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff

All you need is an exercise ball and the ability to laugh at yourself when you fall over.

Playing on an exercise ball beginner and advanced

Posted by Jessie Graff on Friday, December 23, 2016

To say American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff is fit is an understatement. As a professional stunt woman and the only woman to defeat a National Finals course, she is in top physical condition.

She also does not accept boring workouts. She doesn’t do set after set of the same exercise. Instead, she develops different exercises that work the same muscle groups so her activities are varied, but she’s still gaining strength.

Grab an exercise ball and try out this workout Jessie Graff designed to get the whole body going. (We got to play assistant as the beginner example!) You might fall over a lot, but that’s part of the fun.

Exercise ball workout: Beginner to Advanced

  • Sit cross-legged on the ball. This alone is a constant core workout.
  • Sit on and straddle the ball. Raise and tuck your feet back behind you. Keep your knees wide and squeeze with your thighs to hang on. Try to resist the urge to drop your feet to the floor when you feel unbalanced and instead engage your core to stay in position.
  • If you’re ready to make it harder, lift yourself up a couple inches so you’re not sitting on the ball. Squeeze tight with your knees to stay in place.
  • Then, if you really really want a challenge, stand on the ball and do 20 squats, followed by “good mornings.” Keep your back straight, extend your arms above your head and lean forward, down to your toes. (This is probably for Jessie Graff level athletes only!)
  • Place the ball under your lower back. Do traditional crunches.
  • Vary this exercise by adding a circle motion. Look at the ceiling above and slightly behind your head. Put your hands behind your head. Raise yourself into a crunch, but in a circular motion. Alternate directions each time. Try for about 20 reps.
  • Lay on your back on the floor with your legs on the ball. Pinch the ball to your thighs by pulling in with your heels. This will exercise the hamstrings. Pick up the ball with your legs. Crunch to the ball. Try for between 20 to 50 reps of this exercise.
  • If you’d like to make it harder, lift the ball straight up with your legs. You won’t move as far, but the small movement is difficult.
  • Lay on your back with legs straight up. Place the ball between your feet. Drop legs to one side. Raise to the center, and drop to the other side. Repeat. Do 10 repetitions.
  • Lay on your back with legs straight up. Place the ball between your feet. Do criss-cross crunches and aim your elbows towards the ball.
  • Lay on your back and put your heels on the ball. Lift your hips. Pull the ball in and push it back out.
  • You can lift one leg and pull in and out for harder exercise.
  • If you need to work up to that, just hold one leg raise at a time and remain still.
  • Get into a plank position with the ball under your lower legs. Slowly push back to extend your arms fully by your ears. Do a couple of these and then scoot your body forward. The more forward you are, the more advanced the exercise. When the ball is under your toes, you’ll feel the difference in difficulty. Make sure to keep your belly tight and your back straight. Use a mirror to make sure there is no curve in your back.
  • You can also use this form to work on press handstand position by pulling the ball in and raising your hips as high as you can.

Then get ready to have some sore-in-a-great-way abs for a few days!