How many of you have a Swiss Ball that is collecting dust somewhere at home? Or perhaps you’re not too sure exactly how to use it. Then this Swiss Ball workout is for you!
I’ll be getting you through a full 20 minute beginner Swiss Ball workout that will strengthen all the major muscle groups and tone your body without any additional equipment. All you’ll need is a Swiss Ball and your energy. Of course, you can use your mat for cushioning.
Let’s first start by understanding how to choose the rightest ball size for your height. When you are sitting on your Swiss Ball, your feet should be flat on the floor with a 90-degree bend at the knees. Swiss Ball comes in 3 standard sizes:
- 55 cm (if you’re shorter than 5’4″ or 163 cm);
- 65 cm (if you’re between 5’4″ and 5’7″ or 170 cm);
- 75 cm (if you’re taller than 5’7″ or 170 cm).
Swiss Ball workout
There are 2 rounds of a total of 9 exercises, 45 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds of rest. This Swiss Ball workout will take 20 minutes from your time, but it will put all your muscles to work:
- Lower body muscles (quads, calves, hamstrings, inner & outer thighs, glutes);
- Core (abs, obliques, lower back);
- Upper body (chest, shoulders, arms).
This Swiss Ball workout consists of strength training (toning) & flexibility exercises for beginner and intermediate fitness level. So let’s start with our first exercise:
1. Overhead Ball Squat
Bring the Swiss Ball above your head, step wide, bring it down and bring it back up. This is a nice warm-up exercise that focuses on both lower and upper body.
2. Wall Squats
Place the ball against the wall (it should rest nicely along your waist) and take a step forward. As you squat down, your legs should be 90 degrees, then bring it up. Try to tighten your core, squat and squeeze your butt and push up on your heels. You should feel your thighs and your butt working.
Bring the ball onto your belly, take a step forward to get comfortable without arching your back and just get into a small push-up. Let’s do this for 45 seconds. If you want to challenge yourself more, bring the Swiss Ball even further toward your feet. You will be working your chest and shoulders.
4. Back Extension
Again, ball on your belly, place your feet against a wall and just extend your back up. As you bring your back up, squeeze as high as you can and feel your lower back working.
5. Leg Curls
Lie down on your back, place your feet on the ball, lift your butt up while your body is straight. Bend your knees and bring the ball towards your butt then extend straight. Try to keep your body in a straight line throughout the workout and you should really feel your hamstrings and core. Engage your core in order to keep the ball balanced and to keep your body in a straight line as well.
6. Leg Raises
Bring the ball onto your belly,roll slightly forward and just bring your leg up and squeeze your butt. Alternate legs and squeeze as high as you can because you want a nice, round butt, right?
7. Jack Knife
Again, in the same position, roll forward until the ball is at your knees level. Bring the ball in and squeeze your lower abs then extend back to the starting position. You should feel your lower abs working, your legs and also your upper body which is supporting you. Remember not to arch your back and always to tighten your core.
This is the old classic plank, but with the ball under your forearms. This is more challenging than the normal plank only because it requires more stability. And because you need more stability, your core muscles will work more. Just hold it there for 45 seconds.
If you want to make it more difficult just slightly move the ball back and forth.
9. Hand Off
Lie down on your back with the Swiss Ball in your hands. Crunch up, pass the ball to your legs, bring it down, extend your arms and crunch up and pass the ball back to your hands. Return to the starting position and repeat these moves for 45 seconds. Remember that the legs must be in the air all the time, so don’t touch the floor with your legs. This Swiss Ball workout will focus on your lower and upper abs.
You have finished the first round so you can rest for a full minute before starting the second round of Swiss Ball workout. Drink some water to stay hydrated and repeat the entire workout.
So as I said, this Swiss Ball workout has 2 rounds but at the end of it, if you don’t feel tired enough, you can perform an extra round. Also, for best results, you should workout 3-4 times per week and combine this Swiss Ball workout with 3-4 sessions of cardio.
Check out the picture below to see exactly how to execute the workout