Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness are a great way to target your core as well as develop toned muscles all over the body. The Swiss Ball can also be used for rehabilitative services as well to assist with back, knee, or hip injuries. Increased flexibility and improved cardiovascular health have been associated with Swiss Ball exercises.
Swiss Ball Exercises For Core Fitness
Here are some great benefits to incorporating Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness into your routine:
Back and Spine Health:
The Swiss Ball can support your lower back while you exercise and stretch. This is exactly why physical therapists and chiropractors began using the ball in their treatment!
Back injuries and pain are common experiences for many nowadays. Incorporating the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness can help relieve pain and assist with mobility.
Everyone’s attention is on the core. Indeed, it is the power source of many of our range of motions and actions.
Using Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness is a great way to target those important muscles and help shape your tummy as well as improve your athletic performance.
Core muscles are located deep within the body, and strengthening them is not always noticeable, meaning that these essential muscles often get forgotten. Using the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness will make those muscles feel a lot less abandoned.
There are three major muscles in the “core” or midsection of the body.
These muscles are:
• The Transverse Abdominus, or the deep abdominal muscles
• Multifidus, the muscles of the back that provide lumbar support
• Quadratus Lumborum, the muscles of the lower back that maintain spinal and pelvic balance
These three major muscles work together to provide spinal support and help you perform daily essential activities. For very significant muscles, we don’t always think to make them stronger when planning our strengthening or fitness routines. Not to worry, the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness have your core muscles covered.
Great Way To Target Deep Core Muscle Groups
Training on the ball is a great way to target these hard to reach areas. Just by sitting on the ball, you activate your balancing muscles. However, just sitting on the ball may be difficult because the ball is an unstable base. Your balancing muscles must constantly be working to keep you upright and off of the floor.
Think of when you are at the gym sitting on a bench or other hard surface, or perhaps at your office desk in one of those old-fashioned swivel chairs. You don’t use any of these stabilizing muscles because the chair or whatever hard surface is supporting your body.
When sitting on your Swiss Ball, try bringing your feet closer together to alter your base of support and intensify your workout. As you get used to the Swiss Ball you’ll become more aware of how your body should feel on the ball and what movements will target those deep abdominal muscles.
Swiss Ball Rule-of-Thumb
A rule of thumb for using the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness is that the further away the ball is from your core, the more your muscles have to work to keep you balanced and upright.
Another example of this is if you were doing push-ups on your Swiss Ball. You place the ball under your legs, which would make the push-up feel a little easier than if you had the Swiss Ball supporting your lower legs near the ankles. Make sense? The Swiss Ball will either support more or less of your weight relative to how close or far away the ball is from your core muscles.
Improving posture is another benefit of using the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness. Posture is something we are not always mindful of. Even writing this, I found myself a little slouched over instead of sitting upright, using my ab muscles more to keep my chest broad.
It is important to keep that natural curve in the spine but to make sure you’re not folding over your abs. Aiming a little high while on the Swiss Ball or while sitting in a chair is a great way to keep those core muscles working. As your core muscles grow stronger, sitting upright and achieving good posture will come a little more naturally than before.
Muscle Balance and Body Strength
Another great benefit of using the Swiss Ball exercises for Core Fitness is Muscle balance. This is important for appearance and especially for performance and overall health.
It can be great to have amazing, big and buff arms, but if you lack shoulder or core strength, you might not be able to perform for example a long, fast throw in baseball. If you hit the ball, you would also need lower body strength to get you to the bases quickly.
All-around body strength is needed for a successful athletic performance. The Swiss Ball can be used for multiple exercises and modified activities to target every area of your body.
Adding the Swiss Ball to Exercises You Already Do
You can add the ball to a push-up to intensify an all over body exercise. When doing sit-ups try lifting the Swiss Ball over your head when you move up to get your biceps and tricep muscles involved and to really impact those upper-abs by elongating your abdomen.
The Swiss Ball can be used for all kinds of core-strengthening exercises. It is a great piece of equipment to mix-up and intensifies a lot of exercises and moves you may already be doing. Remember the importance of your core when exercising and try to target the area as much as possible for great, all over body results.
Swiss Ball Exercises for Your Core
1. V-Sit With Ball
1. Begin in a seated position with hands and feet on the floor.
2. Slowly contract your abdominal muscles and core and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle.
3. Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able.
4. It’s important to maintain good core posture and a strong spine throughout the movement and to avoid rounding the shoulders forward.
5. Hold this V-shaped position for several seconds to begin.
2. Ball Jog
1. Jog In Place with the ball held in front of you
2. Move the ball overhead
3. Move the ball as low as possible while standing straight.
4. Return to the stating point
3. Hand Off
1. Lay face up on the ground with back flat.
2. Raise legs off the ground and hold in the air. Hold the ball in your hands over the head.
3. Raise the ball up to the legs, placing the ball between the legs.
4. Lower legs to the floor.
4. Knee Tucks
1. Position yourself on all fours with your torso on a swiss ball and hands and feet on the floor. Stretch your legs back and keep your hands under your shoulders.
2. Engage your abs and slowly walk your hands forward until your feet lift off the floor.
3. Carry on walking out until your quads or knees rest on the ball in a plank position.
4. Slowly bend your knees in towards your chest allowing the ball to roll forward. Tuck your knees under your torso as your hips lift towards the ceiling.
5. Slowly straighten your legs and roll the ball out to the starting position.
5. Knee Raise
1. Sit in a seated position and place a stability ball between your legs.
2. Straighten your legs and then bring your knees to your chest and lift the ball off the floor.
6. Ski Step
1. Lie faceup on the ball, draping the entire back of your body over it, arms extended overhead with palms up, fingertips on the floor.
2. Keeping knees bent and pointing straight up, walk your feet out.
7. Side Squat
1. Stand with your exercise ball to your side.
2. Place the inside of your foot on the ball.
3. Lift your arms so that your shoulders are at 90 degrees.
4. Engage your abdominal muscles through the abdominal hollowing exercise.
5. Lower yourself down as far as you can go while still maintaining control.
6. Slowly rise back up.
Swiss Ball Exercises for the Upper Body
8. Balance Push-Up
1. Lay with your chest on the stability ball.
2. Place your hands on the ball at the sides of your chest.
3. Place your toes on the floor, legs straight.
4. Push your body up until your arms are almost straight (do not lock your elbows)
9. Standing Plank
1. To perform the plank on the ball in standing, stand in front of the ball and place your hands on the ball about shoulder-width apart.
2. Legs should be straight and feet shoulder width apart.
3. You should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
4. Keep your abdominals engaged and back and neck in a neutral position.
10. Roll Out
1. Kneel on the ground and place a Swiss Ball in front of you. Cross your feet in the back. …
2. Begin the movement by slowly rolling out with the Swiss Ball. Feel the contraction of your core as you move further out.
3. Once you are fully extended, pause, then slowly roll back up to the starting position.
11. Back Extension
1. Start by placing your body on top of the stability ball and planting your feet against the wall a bit wider than shoulder width.
2. Place your hands to the side of your head and slowly lower your body down on to the stability ball.
3. Lower your body back down to the starting position using complete control through the whole range of motion.
12. Tricep Dips
1. Place your hands on the bench beside you and put your feet up on the stability ball.
2. Keeping your back straight and your tailbone close to the bench, lower your body down until your elbows have reached 90 degrees.
3. Raise your body, fully extending your arms and contracting your tricep muscles. Repeat action.
1. Lie prone (on your stomach) over the top of a properly-inflated stability ball (one that compresses approximately 6″ under your body weight) with both feet and hands on the floor, hip- and shoulder-width apart.
2. Gently exhale, contract your abdominal/core muscles to stiffen your torso and slowly walk yourself forward, lifting your legs off the floor. Continue walking out until your toes, with ankles in dorsiflexion (toes pointed towards your shins), rest on the top of the ball. Maintain a rigid torso aligned parallel with your legs
3. Exhale and while keeping your legs fully extended, pull your feet towards your chest, rolling the ball forward as your hips move upwards (think about lifting your rear end towards the ceiling while hinging at the hips).
4. Inhale and slowly lower yourself back towards the floor, returning your body to the starting position.
Swiss Ball Exercises for the Lower Body
14. Overhead Ball Squat
1. Take the Swiss ball and hold it over your head with your arms locked.
2. Place your feet about shoulder width apart and drop down into a squat.
3. Drop down to about a 90-degree angle and then stand back up.
15. Wall Squat
1. Place the ball between the wall and your lower back, walking your feet out slightly.
2. Lower your body toward the floor in a squat position as you continuously push back into the ball.
3. Bend your knees to 90 degrees or as far as feels comfortable to you.
4. Straighten your legs, keeping your weight over your heels to return to standing position.
16. Standing Ball Squeeze
1. Keeping your weight in the heel of your front foot, bend your knees to lower your body toward the floor. Allow the ball to roll onto your back shin
2. Pause, then push through your front heel to stand up, rolling the top of your foot back onto the ball
17. Hamstring Curl
1. Assume start position as shown by lying on the floor, back of calves resting against the ball.
2. Lift butt off the floor by lifting hips toward the ceiling.
3. Pull the ball in with your feet.
4. Push the ball back out.
18. Squat and Reach
1. Take a stability ball and place it against the wall. Position yourself against it so that the ball is contoured to the arch of your back.
2. Place your feet at shoulder-width with your toes pointed slightly out. Brace your core and keep your chest up.
3. Bend first at the knees and then at the hips. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Allow the stability ball to guide you but do not put all of your weight against it. Return to the starting position.
19. Ball Lunge with Weights
1. Place the stability ball between the small of your back and a wall. Put one foot behind you against the wall and the other in front of your body. Be sure that your knee does not extend past the foot.
2. Keeping your back straight, lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
3. Lift the body back up to the starting position using the quadriceps muscles. Repeat the action.
20. Reverse Extension
1. Starting Position: Lie prone (on your stomach) over the top of a properly-inflated stability ball (one that compresses approximately 6″ under your body weight) with both feet and hands on the floor, hip- and shoulder-width apart.
2. Gently exhale, contract your abdominal/core muscles to stiffen your torso and slowly walk yourself forward until your hips lie directly over the top of the ball, lifting both legs in unison off the floor until they are parallel with your torso. In this position, your body weight is distributed over the ball and supported by both hands placed on the floor. Press and hold your legs together so they move at the same time. Think about squeezing a quarter between your knees to help maintain the position.
3. Inhale and slowly lower both legs in unison back towards the floor while keeping them fully extended.
A helpful article by WebMD: Have a Ball With Exercise Ball Workouts