Stop looking at that swiss ball in the corner of your gym and put it to use with these exercises that will challenge your balance, coordination, and core strength.
They’re found in every collegiate weight room, every private training facility, and in nearly every home across the country. They come in many colors, shapes, and sizes and they’ve been one of the biggest crazes in strength and conditioning over the past 10 years.
Still haven’t guessed?
I’m talking about the swiss ball (also known as a stability ball, physioball, or core ball, etc but I’m sure the title already gave that away).
The chances are most of you have seen one and may have even done a few situps on one before, but we’re going to cut right to the chase and break down the best exercises you should be doing on the swiss ball. Get out that pen and pad ladies and gents, because here we go…
Walking Lunge with Twist
Holding the swiss ball at shoulder height, lunge forward with your right foot until your left knee lightly touches the ground, from this position, rotate to the right, then to the left. Maintain a strong core through the entire rotation, as well as keeping your arms straight and parallel to the ground. Drive the left foot into the ground and step thru into the next lunge, twisting over the right foot. Repeat for 8 to 10 steps on each leg. Complete 3 sets and you’ll most definitely improve your leg and core strength.
Knee Tuck with Pushup
Starting in a pushup position, place the swiss ball under your feet, with your shins directly in the middle of the ball. From this start position, bend the knees and roll the ball into the midline of the body, then roll the ball back to the start position; once returned to the starting position, perform a pushup. 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps will get a good sweat going; you can add variety by performing the knee tuck with only one leg at a time. Also, as you become stronger at the knee tuck you can progress to a straight leg pike to roll the ball into the hands, and then back to the starting position. This is a great core exercise for building functional strength that will improve your athletic performance.
Straight Leg Hip Extension + Leg Curl + Bent Knee Hip Extension
This is one exercise that has combined three movements all focused on sculpting the hips, glutes and hamstrings… get excited! Start by lying with your back on the floor with your heels in the middle of the swiss ball. From this position, press your heels into the ball and extend the hips until only your shoulder blades are touching the floor and hold this position for 1-2 seconds. From this straight leg hip extension position, bend the knees and pull the ball into and under your buttocks, keeping your hips fully extended, while holding this position, drop your buttocks to about 1 inch from the floor, keeping the ball tight to the body. Hold for a 1 count and return your hips up to the extended position. Roll the ball away from the body until the legs are fully extended. Return to the starting supine position and repeat the complex for 5-8 reps… and then perform two more sets for a total of 3.
Supine Lying Med Ball Rotation
This is a great exercise for improving rotational balance and stability in your hips, lower back and obliques. Lay on your back with your shoulder blades in the middle of the ball, feet flat on the floor and hips fully extended, and then extend your arms toward the ceiling, keeping your arms perpendicular to your body. From this beginning position, keep the hips extended and buttocks flexed as you begin to rotate the hands/ball to the right side. The ball can roll somewhat, however, try to minimize the displacement as much as possible by flexing your core throughout the entire rotation. Do 3 sets of 10 rotations to each side and you’ll see why this is such a great exercise to improve your core strength.
Straight Arm Rollout
Time to get some more work in on those abs, and back (latissimus dorsi) at the same time!! The swiss ball rollout is similar to the AB-wheel exercise but with more back and shoulder stability. Kneeling (you will want to fold a towel or use some kind of pad to kneel on) with the ball close to your body, place your wrists on the middle of the ball. Keeping your back straight, begin to lean forward and place most of your weight on your bent arms which are on the swiss ball. When your upper body is at about a 45 degree angle, begin to straighten your arms as you begin to lean farther forward to the ground. The goal is to fully extend the hips & arms while maintaining a flexed core and low back. Once fully extended, begin to slowly roll the ball back into the original starting position. Please note that if full extension is too much, shorten the rollout distance to a safe and manageable distance until you develop the strength in your core/arms to hold the fully extended position. Either way you'll quickly learn that this ab exercise and lower back exercise is no joke.
And there you have it. best exercises that you can do any place, anytime, anywhere. So don’t just sit there. Grab that ball from the corner, wipe the dust off of it, and start getting after it!
To maximize your gains with these exercises 1R would recommend the following supplements: