Swiss balls are one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment. There are over 100 Swiss ball exercises that you can do – probably many more! Apart from being good for your body, swiss ball exercises allow you to develop mastery – which psychologists agree is one of the key tenets of motivation. Health and fitness expert Sally Symonds, shares her top 4 swiss ball exercises.
Mastery is why we can derive such pleasure from cleaning out car or spring-cleaning our house. Mastery gives us a type of satisfaction that we don’t get in other ways; it’s something worth pursuing for its own sake. Thus mastery can be an invaluable tool in your weight loss journey, especially if you are someone who hates exercise! The skills we learn through mastery are skills we can use in other areas of life – the ability to master one particular thing opens up the chance for us to attempt mastering something else. It helps us build self-efficacy and, in term, self-esteem.
Perhaps the biggest mistake people make in trying to master the Swiss ball is buying an inferior quality brand of ball (usually determined by the price) and then expecting to be able to master it. Even Swiss ball masters struggle with inferior quality balls. However, once you’ve invested in a good quality Swiss ball or determined to play with the ones in your local gym, that’s when the fun really begins. Sure, you might need to start your weight loss and exercise regime with some Swiss ball crunches, but before you know it you will be ready to take the Swiss ball super challenge! Here are some of my favourite Swiss ball exercises. Let me know how you go . . .
Double Swiss ball row
Start by kneeling on top of one Swiss ball, and then place both your hands on a Swiss ball in front of you and hold a dumbbell in one hand. Now you should be on all fours with two Swiss balls underneath you.
While maintaining your balance and a neutral spine, and drawing your stomach in, let the arm holding the dumbbell hang straight down to the ground. Perform a dumbbell row with this arm, pulling the dumbbell to your chest and allowing your elbow to go straight upward towards the roof. Return arm to starting position and repeat.
Swiss ball barbell hip raise
Start by lying with your head and shoulders on a Swiss ball and your hips up and horizontal to the ground. Place a barbell across your hips.
Slowly lower your hips to the ground. Once your hips are just above the floor, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips back up until they’re parallel with the floor again. Keep your stomach drawn in throughout the movement. Control the barbell.
Double Swiss ball plank
Lean both elbows on a Swiss ball, making sure your arms are straight under your shoulders. Place another Swiss ball behind you and put one leg up on top of the ball so it rests beneath your ankle joint and shoelaces. Keep your other leg on the ground.
Lift the leg on the ground up and place it on top of the ball beside your other foot. Balance in this plank for the desired amount of time. Make sure your body is in a straight line and that your stomach is drawn in.
Swiss ball juggling
Kneel with both knees on a Swiss ball. Make sure you are straight at your hips and not sitting back on the heels of your feet. Keep your posture by drawing your shoulders back and your stomach in. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Stabilise the ball as best you can, trying not to wobble throughout the movement. Keep your elbows locked in and don’t allow them to come forward. Now throw the dumbbells up in the air (just as if you were juggling balls) and try to catch them again while maintaining good posture and not falling off the ball!
Feature image via pinterest