Swiss balls are a familiar sight in many gyms these days and are commonly used for ab training — crunches and cross crunches are quite popular using the Swiss ball. However these are just a fraction of the fantastic exercises that can be performed on a Swiss ball! By combining five or six Swiss ball exercises in a mini-circuit, with a short rest between each circuit, you can get a complete and exhilarating workout. For best results, alternate movement patterns so that antagonistic muscle groups will be worked, e.g. alternate upper and lower body exercises.
Tips for Safe, Effective Swiss Ball Workouts
- Always check your ball and workout area and clear away any stray debris, such as grit, staples, tacks, thorns, etc. These can make for a "deflating" workout experience if one of these punctures your ball!
- Take care that the ball does not slide out from underneath you. Use a mat if the floor is slippery.
- It is important to warm up correctly. The best way is to perform the particular activity you will be doing, at a reduced intensity, e.g. one set of each exercise at a perceived effort of 60% training intensity, or what you would consider easy. You will know your body is ready for exercise when you begin to sweat. After your warm-up, take a short rest of approximately 60 seconds and begin your workout.