Ah, the swissball. We see them at the gym, but what the hell do we do with them? They are in essence, an excellent tool for core and stability work. The lack of stability they provide makes the core turn on even more and makes all your other muscles work harder to accomplish the exercise. There are SO many things you can do with a swiss/stability ball, this list is obviously non-exhaustive.
A stability, or swissball, can easily be incorporated into your workout at the gym or at home. Any time you do a movement in which the ground or a chair is used to support bodyweight, sub out a stability ball! To do this safely, keep in mind that the sub-out part of the stability ball should be used for a secondary support. This means that basically, if the exercise is stepping up onto a chair (if at home), or aerobic step (if at the gym), the ball clearly wouldn’t work here, so please don’t try to step on a ball, unless you are a professional.
My current Top 5 Stability ball exercises are:
- Pike crunch
This is one of my FAVORITE core and arm exercises. Make sure you keep your core rock hard. Use your midsection to pull yourself into a pike position, hold for a second, and return to a plank position. Repeat 8-12 times!
2. Split squat ball
Holy stability! This is no easy exercise. The prop of one leg on the ball really challenges your balance and core stability. If you can’t maintain good form and control, be sure to use assistance for your balance. Repeat each side 8-12 times!
3. Shoulder bridge burner with UE movement
If you want to feel your glutes & hamstrings burn, baby, burn – this is the exercise for you. Try to keep your core and hips perfectly straight and level, core engaged, and extra squeeze at the booty! Keep this position while you perform upper body exercise (you can also get just as good of a burn by focusing on lower body!) Pictured here, I’m performing overhead chops for core, lats and triceps.
4. Walk out with pushup
Push ups are probably on my list of least liked exercises, but they are such a good exercise because they target core AND arms. Add the stability ball to ramp up the core engagement. Keep core tight and do not let your lower back “sag.” 8-12 reps!
5. Bridge + HS curl
If there is any exercise to guaranteed burn out the hamstrings on this list, this is the one. Pro Tip: keep the booty elevated to maximize the work of the posterior chain, aka the backside of your body. 8-12 reps!