Swiss Ball Exercises – Intensify Your Workout
A primary benefit of swiss ball exercises as opposed to exercising directly on a flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles. Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance. Most frequently, the core body muscles. Personal trainer Katerina takes you through her ‘Big 5 Swiss Ball Exercises’.
The Big 5: Swiss Ball Exercises
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. Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance. Most frequently, the core body muscles.
Katerina takes you through her ‘Big 5 Swiss Ball Exercises’.
The Big 5: Swiss Ball Exercises
Lie with the ball touching your lower back, and with your shoulders and upper back just off the ball, provide support for your neck by placing your hands under your head, although you should not pull on your neck. That will focus on your upper abs; to target the lower region, the ball should be positioned closer to your lower back. To target the obliques as well as the lower abs, incorporate a twist at the top, and by going through the same movements as above, you can target the lower abdominals by allowing yourself more movement. Over time, core strength will develop, as you become more used to the ball and you should start out slowly by doing eight repetitions and then build your routine, by slowly building up to 15 repetitions.
#2 Ball Rolls
You should definitely start out slowly and then build up for this potentially challenging workout routine which targets each core muscle. The exercise involves rolling out, keeping the Swiss ball a few inches in front of the shoulders and you will definitely notice a burn in your abs if you make a point of keeping your body stable. Three sets of 10 repetitions is the recommended goal for these bad rolls.
#3 Back Extension
These back extensions are more effective than those you carry out in your local gym, as the use of the Swiss ball develops the other core muscles, as well as the erector spinae. In many everyday movements, your whole body becomes an integrated unit. Lie face down on the ball, and push yourself forward until your hips are at the top of the ball, making sure to keep your legs straight out behind you. As though you were standing up perfectly straight, extend your spine into a neutral position by squeezing your core muscles and then maintaining that position for several seconds. Repetition as necessary.
#4 Swan Dives
You can use either a regular Swiss ball or the mini version to perform swan dives, which are Pilates mats routines that target the glutes, hamstrings and triceps. Placing the ball under your lower hips and abdomen, lie face down on it and then place your hands on the floor.
Stretch your legs out and make sure your toes touch the floor if you are using the larger Swiss ball for these swan dives; your legs should be straight out on the floor with your feet pointed, if you are using the smaller ball. the next step is to raise your legs, while at the same time bending the arms and leaning forward with your upper body. The exercise is finished once your body has reverted back to its original position.
For this routine, start with a set of eight repetitions and then gradually build up to more. Making sure that you keep the back of your shoulders and your feet in a straight line, adopt a push up position with your feet resting on top of the ball. Lift your hips upwards and come up to your toes, while making sure that you maintain your body’s alignment by looking down at the floor.
The top of your head should be aimed at the floor and your upper body should be vertical to the floor, once you have finished, you can carry out as many repetitions as you need to develop that six-pack look. If you are a novice when it comes to workouts, pull your knees into the chest and then back again, by rolling the ball in; this can be done instead of lifting your hips up. The move is easier to carry out if you make a point of keeping as much as possible of your body on the top of the Swiss ball.
Try them and tell us how you get on