Fitness Made Simple: Core Exercises with the Swiss Ball
If you are looking for a simple way to enhance your workouts, finding the right tools is the key. The Swiss ball may prove to be a great addition to your workout routine. Once you know the types of exercises you can do with a Swiss ball, your workouts can be more varied, and in turn, more effective.
Why the Swiss Ball
Exercises using a Swiss ball focus on working your core area. The core area is one of the most important places of your body to develop and strengthen. Your core muscles help to control your back, maintain your balance and keep you moving forward.
Not only will Swiss ball exercises help you to gain strength in these areas, they can also help to increase balance and stability as well as the ability to control the muscles that are in your core area. Not to mention that attractive six-pack look.
No matter what level of core training you are at, you can begin an exercise routine with your Swiss ball. As you gain strength, you can proceed to more advanced exercises.
Each Swiss ball exercise isolates different areas of your core, helping to build your overall strength in both your back and your abdominal muscles.
Pelvic isolation is one of the more basic Swiss ball exercises. To begin this exercise, sit on the ball with your feet hip width apart and your arms either on your hips or at your side.
Then, slowly move forward with your hips, keeping your feet in place. (The ball should roll under you as you move.) Make sure to keep your back straight.
Return to your starting position, and then repeat, this time moving backward with your hips.
As you become more comfortable with these movements, and as your core strength improves, you can advance to moving from side to side, or moving in complete circles.
Pelvic isolation makes a great warm-up before moving on to more Swiss ball core exercises.
After warming up, you can move to strengthening your spine and back.
While sitting on the ball, move your feet forward as you lean back on the ball.
Make sure that you use the Swiss ball in this exercise as the main support for your back.
Continue to lean back while moving your feet slowly forward. You can stop when the ball is at the upper part of your back, near your shoulder blades.
Raise your arms over your head and straighten your knees. Make sure your back is straight as well.
Hold this position for ten seconds before reversing direction and rolling back to your starting position.
Upper Spine Stretch
You can also use the Swiss ball to strengthen your upper back.
For this exercise, change position so that you are kneeling on the floor with the ball in front of you.
Place your chest on the exercise ball. Then, roll forward with your chest on the ball, while your knees straighten.
Hold this position for ten seconds, than roll back to the kneeling start position.
While these beginner exercises are more like stretches, you will find that they build core strength effectively.
When you are ready, you can move on to more complex Swiss ball exercises. If you are interested in building abdominal muscles, many Swiss ball exercises will isolate this area.
This workout uses the Swiss ball to increase the benefit of doing crunches. Depending on your current ability, you can begin this workout with full or half crunches.
To do the ball crunches, first sit on the exercise ball. For a half crunch, lean back half way without moving your feet, then return to the sitting position. For full crunches, just lean back fully.
A good place to start is with 5-10 repetitions, and increase as your strength increase.
Another Swiss ball exercise idea for building core strength is the walkout. Walkouts can be varied to focus on core strength in either the front or back.
To focus on your front, begin by kneeling and placing the ball in front of you.
Lean forward so that your chest is resting on the ball.
Walk your hands forward, rolling your body over the ball until it is at your feet.
Then, reverse direction, returning the ball to your chest.
To focus on your back, start by sitting on the ball.
Walk your feet forward until the ball is at your shoulder or neck area.
Then, reverse direction and walk back to sitting position.
If you add these exercises to your workout routine, you will find a big improvement in the strength of your core. Whether you want a stronger back or flatter abs, using the Swiss ball is a great way to get there quickly and with comfort. The Swiss ball is also a way to add some interest and variety to your daily routine. In no time at all, you will find that your exercise routine is rolling you into a better look.