Swiss ball exercises are an advanced form of workouts which help you strengthen your abs and your core muscles much more than ordinary exercises.
The key with any workout is to get the most effect for your time. After all, even if you enjoy working out as much as I do, none of us has too much free time on our hands that we can waste it away on useless workouts.
Using a Swiss Ball (also called a stability ball) immediately increases the intensity of any exercise because it requires you to make a considerable effort in stabilizing yourself on the ball. This works your stabilizing muscles, core muscles, and just makes each exercise that much harder.
Let’s go over some of the best swiss ball exercises. I will mostly concentrate on swiss ball ab workouts on this article:
Swiss Ball Crunch
You can see how this exercise is done in the picture at the beginning of this article. This is the basic crunch, but the swiss ball makes it so much more effective.
You begin with the swiss ball beneath your lower back. Center your gaze on the ceiling to help you keep a straight neck and put both hands lightly at the sides of your head.
Lie back until your back is straight and then curl upwards, crunching your abs and making sure your lower back is firmly on the ball. Exhale while going up. Don’t go up all the way, but find that sweet spot where your abs are hardest and stop there. Hold for a second and then go back down.
Swiss Ball Jackknife Knee Tuck
You begin the exercise as you can see in the picture to the left, in a sort of push-up position with the soles and shins of your feet on the swiss ball. Make sure to keep your back and neck straight.
The movement is to slowly roll the swiss ball towards your upper body with the soles of your feet while bending your knees toward your chest. This causes your ab muscles to strain like crazy.
You then roll the ball back slowly to the starting position and continue doing the exercise for as many reps as you can.
Swiss Ball Jackknife Pike
The swiss ball jackknife pike is an advanced form of the jackknife and it requires strong abs and flexibility so don’t feel bad if you can’t do it. The regular jackknife is a powerful enough exercise.
The picture to your right is the final position of this killer stomach exercise. The movement is similar to the jackknife but instead of bending your knees to your chest you keep your legs straight until you reach this sort of ‘hand-stand’ position.
Trust me, your lower abs will not forgive you for doing this exercise. It’s that hard.
You don’t need to reach this perfect position with your back at 90 degress to the floor. Even if you can’t get to this position but can still roll the swiss ball toward you part of the way while keeping your legs straight, you will get a powerful workout.
Swiss Ball Russian Twist
The swiss ball twist (also known as Russian Twist) is a powerful waist and obliques exercise.
To do this right, you should have a medicine ballin addition to your swiss ball, but it is possible to do it without one.
You lie on the swiss ball with both your shoulder blades on the ball, hips pushed up in the air and both feet firmly on the floor while holding the medicine ball with both hands.
While still holding the medicine ball firmly, turn to one side on one shoulder until you are looking straight to the side. Go back slowly to the starting position and twist to the other side.
The swiss ball russian twist is a hard exercise. A more moderate one is the regular twist (similar to the picture), where your lower back is on the ball and you slowly twist your upper body from side to side.
Swiss Ball Plank
The plank is one of the best abs and core exercises. But to do it on a swiss ball is much harder than on the floor because of the stability issue.
The plank is a static exercise but it can do you a lot of good. It works the core and the entire stomach.
As you can see in the picture, you place both forearms on the floor, your shins on the swiss ball, and you maintain a straight line, all the way from your head to your legs.
Swiss Ball Pushup
Although this isn’t an ab exercise, as you may know if you read some of the other articles on this site, to burn belly fat you don’t need just stomach exercises but strength workouts in general.
The push-up is an excellent exercise and yes, women can and should do it too.
You place your hands on the swiss ball and your feet on the floor. Then, you simply do a regular push-up.
At first, it may be a bit tricky to keep your balance but this is part of the challenge of working out with a swiss ball.
Swiss Ball Lunge
Another powerful strength exercise is the lunge which you can do with a fitness ball or without one.
Doing a lunge on a swiss ball is a bit harder, of course, due to the stability factor.
Again, this isn’t a stomach exercise but it can help you burn body fat in general, belly fat in particular, and give you some more muscle tissue.
You place one shin on the ball, the other foot on the floor and then slowly bend one knee and lower yourself toward the floor while maintaining a straight back. You rise back up to the starting position. Don’t forget to work both legs.
That’s it for the swiss ball. There are more exercises you can do with it, of course, but these are an excellent beginning.
For more exercising to help you tone your abs go to exercises to burn belly fat.