Swiss Balls are really great pieces of equipment. Sometimes they are called balance balls or stability balls. Lately they have become very popular at gyms especially for workouts designed for women because they are easy to incorporate into routines and really increase the effectiveness of a lot of exercises such as core work.
This program is designed around some good, basic movements to help shape up and tone your body. It is a great program for men as well as women and guys shouldn’t be intimidated by doing exercises on a cushy ball. Check your ego at the door when it comes to strengthening your body.
Too many people grab any old ball but size is important to get a good workout. When you sit on the ball your hips and legs should form 90-degree angles.
The Toning Workout
Circuit training is a great way to do a toning workout because it also gets in a little cardiovascular and endurance work at the same time. This routine is great for people who have a bit of a time crunch. Do all the exercises in the circuit in a row and then rest for a minute before repeating the circuit another time or two.
- The Rollout – 10 to 15 repetitions – This classic exercise works the core, back, and shoulders. Kneel down in front of the ball with your ankles crossed. With your body upright, place your fists on the top edge of the ball and keep your arms straight. Using your knees as a pivot point slowly lean forward and let the ball roll under your arms until it gets to your chest. Pause and reverse the motion by contracting your abs to get to the starting position.
- The Pike – 10 to 15 repetitions – Start in a push-up position with the ball under your knees/shins. Keep your back flat and tighten your abs while lifting your hips towards the ceiling. As you do this your legs will roll along the ball until only your feet are on it and your body is in a jackknife position. Hold for two seconds and then reverse back to the starting position.
- Ball Ab Twists – 10 to 15 repetitions – Start like the pike but this time draw your knees towards your chest, keeping the ball pressed against your shins. Your feet will end up on top of the ball. Now twist your hips and knees to the left and let the ball roll left. Reverse the motion and go all the way back to the right before returning to center which completes 1 repetition.
- Rear Delt Raises – 10 to 15 repetitions – Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie face down on the ball with your abs and lower ribs in the center of the ball, legs extended behind you, and toes touching the ground. Extended your arms straight out to the side while you look at the floor. Lower the dumbbells down towards the floor and raise them back up, squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top.
- Swiss Ball Push-ups – 10 to 15 repetitions – Assume a push-up position but place the tops of your feet in the middle of the ball. Keep your abs tight and back flat as you do decline push-ups, pausing briefly at the bottom.
- Swiss Ball Leg Curls – 10 to 15 repetitions – Lie on your back on the floor with arms out slightly and hands palms down. Place your heels on a Swiss ball and press your hips in the air so your body is in a straight line from ankles to shoulders. Bend your knees and tighten your hamstrings to pull the ball towards you and then roll the ball back out while keeping your hips up.
- Swiss Ball Lunges – 8 to 12 repetitions – Stand in front of your ball on your right leg. Bend the left leg at the knee so that the top of that foot is resting on top of the ball. Now slowly bend the right knee and begin t lower your hips while pushing the left leg straight back, rolling along the ball. At the bottom of the movement your right leg will be in a lunge with the left back behind you and your torso leaned forward. Straighten up and repeat until the reps are done for this leg then switch sides and repeat.