Swiss Balls are a brilliant bit of kit for a core workout, they give you an extra level of instability to make you work harder. They are very versatile so can be used for a range of at home exercises without the need for lots of fancy or expensive equipment. You can incorporate the exercises below into a circuit routine to work more muscle groups or do them together as a single workout. If you don’t own a swiss ball most of these exercises can be adapted and done as a standalone exercise applying exactly the same principles and technique pointers. These exercises are designed to build up your core and back strength and help reduce Musculoskeletal issues related to being sedentary or poor DSE set ups at home.
Disclaimer: This document and videos purpose is to provide guidance and tips on how to perform exercises to improve your core strength. If you carry out these exercises you do so at your own risk and you accept full responsibility for any injuries occurred by carrying these exercises out. If you have any medical conditions, please consult a medical professional or your GP before partaking in this exercise regime.
Duration: Approximately 20 mins
Exercise Plan: 30 Repetitions/30 Second interval: 15-30 seconds rest X 3 sets. Perform 30 Reps or 30 secs intervals of each of the 8 exercises with 15-30 seconds rest between each exercise. Repeat this cycle of 8 exercises 3 or 4 times with a 60 second recovery between sets. Or as mentioned you can integrate some of these exercises with others in a circuit.
Exercise 1: Ab Crunches
Sit on the Swiss ball, place feet hip width apart and create a firm base, place hands on your temple and sit up into a seated position slowly. Ensure you perform the exercise nice and slow and controlled.
Exercise 2: Two Planks Variations- forearms on swiss ball, forearms on floor
Variation 1: Place Forearms on the top of the swiss ball, slowly walk out with your legs so you are in a plank position and hold that position for 30seconds. Try to keep a straight line across your back, squeeze your glutes together and avoid lowering your hips or lifting them to high in the air.
Variation 2: Roll your body over the top of the swiss ball and place forearms on the ground with your feet/shins resting on the top of the swiss ball. Again hold for 30 seconds.
Exercise 3: Knee Tucks
Roll your body over the top of the swiss ball to get into a press up position with your hands resting on the floor and the tops of your ankles resting on the swiss ball. Slowly bring your knees towards your chest rolling maintaining contact with the swiss ball and rolling it towards you. Then slowly untuck your knees from your chest and straighten legs back to original position.
Exercise 4: Back Extensions
Kneel in front of swiss ball and reach over the top as if you are hugging it looking toward the ground. Place hands on your temple and lift your back up off the swiss ball so you are looking straight ahead. Keep movements slow and controlled. Good for stretching out your pectoral muscles, your lats and all your back muscles to counteract the effects of sitting hunched at your desk.
Exercise 5: Windscreen Wipers
Functional exercise that works your abdominal muscles and your obliques. Lie Flat on the floor, place swiss ball between your ankles. Place your hands in an outstretched position either side. Avoid straining your neck by keeping your shoulder blades and neck flat on the floor. Lift your legs up vertically toward the ceiling/sky whilst gripping the swiss ball between your ankles. Slowly swing your legs to your left or right side as if you are going to touch your outstretched hand and then swing back to the centre again and repeat on your other side.
Exercise 6: Leg Lowers
Similar to the exercise above grip the swiss ball between your ankles and lift your legs straight up in a vertical position or towards the ceiling. Slowly lift your feet back towards the ground and hold a few cm away from the ground before lifting your feet back to the starting position.
Exercise 7: Swap Outs
Lie flat on the ground and grip the swiss ball between your ankles, outstretch your hands above your head resting them on the ground. When ready sit up half way in a V shape bringing your legs and arms together to meet and grab the swiss ball. Lower your arms and legs toward the ground. Ensure you perform this exercise in a slow and controlled manner, don’t rush through it or collapse your legs or arms on the ground.
Exercise 8: Normal bridge and moving bridge progression
Lie flat on the ground with your arms flat on the floor palms facing down with the swiss ball in front of your legs, lift your legs onto the swiss ball so your heels or the soles of your feet are resting on the swiss ball with bent knees. Keeping your shoulder blades and neck flat on the floor looking toward the ceiling/sky slowly lift your hips up towards the ceiling/sky, squeezing your glutes together and hold this position. A progression of this exercise is to slowly lift your hips up and down in a controlled manner. Once you have mastered this, another progression from this is to do single leg bridges to add more difficulty.
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