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Doing situps with an execise ball under your shoulders will engage your deep abdominal muscle much more than doing situps while lying on the floor.
Position the ball underneath your shoulders and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. You will engage the transversus abdominis, the muscle that wraps around the lower torso below the rib cage. This muscle helps you keep your balance while standing, and complements other ab exercises for a total abdominal workout.