You’ve seen them lying around the gym, but you’ve never really known what to do with them. At first, you may have thought Swiss ball is a great way to get great abs.
A Swiss ball is also commonly used by people who have sustained an injury, and seek rehabilitation. They are also extensively used by schools as a fitness aid, by lifting the ball, or performing different exercises with the ball incorporated to increase the strain on a particular muscle.
What is a Swiss ball?
A Swiss ball is a ball constructed of elastic rubber with a diameter of around 55 to 85 cm (22 to 34 inches). It is used in physical therapy and exercise.
Yoga with Swiss ball
Doing yoga on a Swiss ball allows your body to open gently so you can keep your breath flowing and remain aware of signs of strain so you don’t injure yourself. The Swiss ball supports you in certain poses and helps you modify each posture to suit your body.
Sitting on the Swiss ball
Sitting on a ball instead of a chair is a great way to keep your spine healthy. Try to sit on a ball for at least part of your work day, if you have a desk job. When you sit on a ball, you’re forced to sit up with good posture because you have nothing to lean back on.
Also, because the ball rolls around, it keeps you on your toes and keeps your body moving, which help prevent the stiffness and back pain that you can get from being too sedentary.
Bent Knee Bridge for Buttocks and hamstrings
How to do it:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels resting on top of the ball. Spread your arms out on either side of you. Lift your butt off the floor while squeezing it, and push your hips toward the ceiling. Pause at the top of the movement, then go back to the starting position.
1. Always ensure the athletes carry out a thorough warm up and warm down
2. Before starting a session, explain the procedures for each exercise with your athletes
3. Partners who feed the medicine ball on certain exercises should be well drilled on what is required
4. Medicine ball exercises must precede high intensity work
5. Start sessions with lighter less dynamic exercises, then progress to heavier exercises
6. The program should have exercises that match the pattern of movements of the sport
7. Plan the program to exercise alternate body parts (legs, upper body, torso)
8. You will need to have a number of different weights of ball available – heavy, medium and light
A primary benefit of exercising with a Swiss ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles to do so. Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance.
The Swiss Ball has had long-standing success in the world of clinical rehabilitation. However, due to their effectiveness in developing balance and core strength, athletic trainers, coaches, personal trainers and physical education teachers have begun to integrate them into their programs. Now they are the new craze in the world of athletic and functional conditioning.
The Swiss ball is a conservative treatment option for back pain sufferers and is designed to help prevent further episodes of low back pain as part of a rehabilitation program. The Swiss ball is effective in rehabilitation of the back because it helps strengthen and develop the core body muscles that help to stabilize the spine.
Once limited to the rehabilitation and clinical setting, the Swiss Ball has permeated to all sectors of the health and fitness community. In clinics, they are still used to provide gentle proprioceptive stimuli for individuals recovering from surgery.
The Swiss ball is fun, its colorful and everybody from pediatric patients to geriatric patients literally find the Swiss Ball to be something unique and that they can generate some enthusiasm about. The unique thing about the Swiss Ball is that they utilize the neuromuscular system in a way that no other exercise equipment I have come across has. That is that they incorporate the use of:
1. Multiple muscle systems
2. Neurologically induced muscular responses
3. A normal and natural process of balance
4. The bodies own normal processes, to establish and restore balance.
Great Abs With Swiss Ball!
Doing yoga on the ball can benefit anyone, including:
1. Yoga beginners. Moving into poses with the ball’s support builds confidence and can help your muscles gradually stretch and strengthen as you improve your yoga routine.
2. People recovering from injuries. Some injuries create muscular weaknesses that make it difficult or painful to do yoga postures such as backbends or Warrior poses. A ball can ease you into a pose comfortably and with less risk for re-injury.
Work Those Abdomens!
Abdominal work is only part of the story. You may be surprised to learn that even more essential to your core stability than a set of six-pack abs are tiny muscles that run along the spine and support the body’s joints. Normally we associate a strong body with the large muscle groups.
But, what really improves overall body fitness is the strength of these tiny muscles. They’re the ones that keep you from falling, wrenching a disk in your back, or spraining your ankle when you slip on a patch of ice.
Elevated Pushups for Pecs, shoulders, triceps, and abs
How to do it: Place the front of your knees on the ball and your hands flat on the floor (your whole body should be parallel to the floor). Look down at the floor and lower your face to within a few inches of it, then push back up to the starting position.
The Swiss ball rolls around easily, so core strength and balance are required to keep it still. The challenge of keeping the ball still makes the ball an excellent tool to teach stability and rehabilitation. The simplest movement can become a huge challenge when you do it on the ball. Using a ball can give your workout a little more variety and extra challenge.
Any exercise tip you use needs to be simple yet smart enough so you can use the exercise tips to quickly and easily adapt your exercise habits to continue to push ahead and reach your health, fitness, and physical appearance goals.
Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident which empowers you in everything you do. You will find that the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life and you will be better able to make other necessary and desirable changes
Start by talking with your doctor. This is especially important if you haven’t been active, if you have any health problems, or if you’re pregnant or elderly.
Please share any of your experiences using a Swiss Ball I will answer any of your questions.