Stir the Pot Exercise Tutorial

How to Do the Stirring the Pot Exercise

how to do stir the pot exercise

Stir the Pot is a moving version of the plank exercise that gets your body moving in a smooth controlled way, while keeping your core stable. Used with an exercise ball, it’s a great plank style exercise because you can add reps to the basic motion without having to modify the exercise itself.

Also Known As

Stirring the Pot


Beginner to Intermediate

Make it Easier

Widen your stance, keep your arms close to your body, or do a kneeling plank

Make it Tougher

Narrow your stance and get up on your toes, make a figure 8 motion, or even spell out the alphabet


Core (obliques and abs) and back muscles

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Rest forearms on an exercise / yoga ball
  2. Keeping arms bent at a 90˚ angle, contract your core and straighten your back
  3. Make sure your toes and not the balls of your feet are on the ground
  4. Taking care to make sure your core doesn’t move, gently move the humerus joint of your shoulders / upper back in a circle from left to right. This is the “stirring the pot” motion
  5. Check your posture, tighten glutes, straighten your back and contract your core even more
  6. Gently move the humerus joint from right to left
  7. Start with 3 sets at 10-15 seconds, working your way up to 15-30 seconds

Tips / Common Mistakes

  • Lean on your forearms instead of your elbows
  • Keep your head up
  • Keep hips up and your body in a straight line
  • Tuck your ribs towards your hips and contract your core muscles
  • Keep your arms relaxed so they’re not the main focus of the exercise

[Transcript] The exercise ball is a really great tool that we can use to strengthen our abdominal muscles. Many of you might think of using the extra size ball like this. You lean back all the way and you do crunches this way. Okay. I see this at the gym all the time, and although this might work out your abdominal muscles, it’s not really going to be great to keep those three C-shaped curves in your spine. So a better way to use this ball is by stabilizing your core and doing something called stir the pot. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to put your elbows on the ball and try to maintain a really nice neutral spine and do small circles with the ball. And you can do those circles either way. And I’ll show you from the side what that might look like. So maintain a nice neutral spine and you can do circles either way. So, that’s a better way to use the exercise ball.