Swiss ball exercises offer great benefits for an effective workout. They help you target core muscles that are crucial for good posture and stability, particularly your abdominal muscles and lower back. Because the Swiss ball rolls, you have to continually adjust your body to maintain balance which in turn will improve your overall flexibility and balance.
To ensure you get the most out of your exercises with the Swiss ball, you must choose the correct size and determine that it is inflated properly. While ball packaging will provide guidelines according to height and weight, the best test is to sit on the ball fully inflated. If your thighs are parallel to the floor, it is the correct size for you. Proper inflation will ensure that whatever exercise you perform, whether they are for the upper body, lower body or abdominal area, will be effective and beneficial.
Examples of Upper Body and Back Exercises
Push-ups are one of the most effective Swiss ball exercises for the chest and arm muscles. Lie down horizontally with your hands on top of the ball shoulder width apart and your back and legs fully extended. Push up on the ball until your arms are extended and then slowly lower yourself back down.
Another variation of the push-up is to lie down with your thighs or feet resting on top of the ball, with your hands on the floor and legs extended. Push yourself up from the floor, extending your arms and then lower yourself back down. Repeat the move.
The alternating arm and leg extension Swiss ball move is great for your back. Lie on top of the ball on your belly and keep your balance with your hands and feet on the floor. Extend your right arm out and left leg up, hold for three seconds and then lower them. Repeat the move with alternating sides.
Examples of Lower Body and Abdominal Exercises
One of the most popular Swiss ball exercises for the legs is the ball squat. Stoop with your back pressed into the ball, against a wall, and slowly lower yourself until your knees are at a 90 degree angle while your hands are behind your ears. Pause for a few seconds and then slow raise yourself up, while still bracing your back against the ball on the wall. Repeat the movement.
You can perform great ab workouts with the ball crunch exercise. Lie down on the Swiss ball with lower back pressed against it and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your ears and then roll your shoulder blades up until your abs engage, pause a moment and then return to your original position. Repeat the move.
There are many exercises that you can adapt into Swiss ball exercises – both with and without extra equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands. Using the ball, you can effectively target certain muscle groups to strengthen the areas that need the most work.