Swiss balls are one of today's top fitness tools - and for good reason! Using a Swiss ball will improve the strength of the abs and the lower back. Since the Swiss ball is unstable you have to constantly adjust your balance, which in turn will improve your balance, proprioception and flexibility. As an extra challenge you can use the exercise ball as a bench using free-weights to target those hard to reach stabilizer muscles.
- Proper Alignment
Using the Swiss ball during training will utilize many additional muscles to maintain stability and balance. Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment, which can greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength. The alignment of your body is also improved when proper balance is maintained.
- Great Abs
An abdominal crunch on the fitness ball has been scientifically proven to work your abs better than a regular crunch. For people working out to achieve great abs, the Swiss ball can definitely target the abdominal areas as the abs and back muscles are simultaneously worked.
- Muscle Strength and Endurance
The Swiss ball can improve muscle strength and endurance in all of the major muscle groups. Training with the stability ball can help in alleviating back pain and preventing pain in the future. As all the major muscle groups are exercised, tone, strength and endurance are improved as well as flexibility and balance.
- Core Stability
Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment so you can also greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength in your abs and back. The major muscles that help stabilize and support all of your body movements are made up of the back and the deep abdominal muscles. With the Swiss ball no matter how "deep" these muscles are, they are still exercised. This is something only the ball can guarantee.
The Swiss ball is a great tool for stretching exercises. With this, you can easily move into and move out of different stretching positions. Training with the Swiss ball will restore or improve your flexibility.
- Losing Weight
Any exercise that strengthens your muscles will help to reduce body fat. With regular exercise using the stability ball, you will also lose weight!
Fitness balls come in different sizes. The basic rule for choosing the correct size is that when you're sitting on the ball, you should be able to easily balance with your feet on the ground. Your hips and knees should both be at right angles. The following list matches you up with the right size ball, based on your height:
If you are a long-time Swiss ball fan, you may not even remember the first time you sat on one and found yourself bobbing up and down and saying, "Ahhh, this is kinda fun." But for the novice wannabe ball users, it can be a scary maneuver.
To sit on the ball: First, simply stand about 6-12 inches in front of the ball with your feet wide apart. A wide base helps provide balance once you're in the seated position. Next, carefully sit down on the ball, making sure there are several inches between the ball and your heels once you’re seated.
Now, take as much time as you need to get comfortable with how this feels. Gently bounce up and down and become acclimated to the ball and your body, and allow yourself to become confident with it. Remember, everyone had to start with their first time on the ball at some point. Your confidence and feeling of control will grow with each use.
To get off the ball from a lying position: You may laugh, but this is tricky for the novice ball user. This is where the people seem to have the most difficulty. After you finish your Swiss ball crunch, or whatever lying exercise you just did, simply walk your feet back towards the ball while simultaneously coming back into a seated position on the ball. Then you can simply stand up.