Swiss Ball exercises involve sessions of stretching, aerobic exercises and strengthening in one's workout. This piece of fitness equipment was moved from the therapy room due to its many tremendous benefits. A great number of pre-arranged exercise classes now fit in the use of stability ball for their routines.
What is the Swiss Ball and How Does it Work?
The Swiss ball, which is currently used for abs exercise was first used for the treatment of neurologic and orthopedic disorders. It is because it was noted to be beneficial in maintaining flex reaction and increasing balance skills in children that suffered from a cerebral palsy disorder.
Today, Swiss Ball exercises are used for the abs. It has also been found to be beneficial in physical fitness and total body workouts.
The Swiss Ball exercises help with repairing of the muscles that women use during childbirth, the elderly use the ball to retain their muscle tone and reduce backaches. This ball is used to reinforce pelvic muscles in women who struggle with incontinence.
Which Swiss Ball Should You Choose?
Understand that your Swiss ball is only good and useful if you use it. You will greatly benefit only if you enjoy Swiss ball exercises and have fun when doing the exercises.
Mental stimulation is a major part of useful fitness routines. The type of Swiss Ball you use does not matter, the end result is what counts.
You can focus on what you want to achieve and start from there. The cost of the ball should be within your budget if it is meant for home workouts.
With this, shop around to compare available options and choose the best. The space available in your home is also a major factor that should be considered before purchasing a ball since the big, bouncy elastic ball tends to occupy space.
20 Swiss Ball Exercises
Swiss Ball Exercises for the Lower Body
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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 Your Core
14. 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.
15. 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 starting point
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
A helpful article by WebMD: 10 Fun Moves to Reshape Your Body With an Exercise Ball Workout