Jul 062010

If you want to have a little fun while getting fit, swiss ball exercises may be the perfect answer. Think about how much fun children have playing with a ball, rolling around on top of it, finding all kinds of ways to balance, push, and play with a ball. Your large exercise ball is the equivalent for you.

Swiss ball exercises can be used to strengthen and tone almost any part of your body. It helps to produce better balance, and works on your core stability muscles at the same time. Your core stability muscles become engaged due to being called upon to maintain your position and balance on the ball. This gives you a more complete workout than your can get doing the equivalent moves on the floor.

What exercises can your do with your swiss exercise ball? For the upper body you can start off with push-ups or push-offs. For push-ups you can use the ball in one of two ways. You can place your feet up on the ball if you are needing to get a little more resistance. This requires even stronger arms and chest muscles than push-ups from the floor. If you are needing to make push-ups easier, just turn around. Keeping your feet on the floor and your hands on the ball reduces the resistance allowing your to complete push-ups easily. As you build up strength your can try new positions. Push-offs are similar to push-ups, but you are holding the ball against a wall, and then pushing your self away from the wall.

For the back of the arms you can do a triceps push-up. Turn around, go into a sitting position with your hands supporting your body behind you. Straighten your arms, using them to power your body upwards.

For the legs you can do a variety of squats and lunges to develop stronger legs. For squats you can put the ball against the wall, with your back against the ball. Simply squat down to a sitting position and then power yourself back up. If this is too easy, then try doing one leg squats. The swiss ball lunge is done very similarly. You put the ball behind your back against the wall, placing one foot slight back, and with the other foot stepped forward. Bend the front knee to approximately a 90 degree angle and then power back up. Do several repetitions and then switch legs.

Swiss ball exercises for your core body strength usually take the form of static positions. Two of the most popular are the plank and reverse plank. In the plank you keep your feet on the floor and place your elbows on the swiss ball. Maintain a straight back and hold the position firmly. In the reverse plank your feet are on the exercise ball, and your hands are on the floor. Your are in almost the same position as an the top of a push-up. Hold the position maintaining a straight back to build core strength.

Swiss ball exercises are not grueling, but they do work on giving your stronger more toned muscles. Using the ball to work on balance, and changing leverage can give you stronger muscles throughout your body, while building strong core stability muscles.

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