Swiss Balls: More Than Just Crunches

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.

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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.