Get Shaped With Swiss Ball

Swiss Ball Exercise

While Wonderbra does wonders to your bosom, this wonder ball does wonders to your figure, and health.

Hold on to your Wonderbra first. A ball that does wonders to your figure does not imply that you can now replace your Wonderbra with it to give you that extra boost and lift. Ok, point exaggerated. Rightfully, you need to position yourself atop the ball and exercise on it. For first timers, be warned, for unsteadiness may cause you unwanted attention. It isn’t as easy as it may seem to be. Balancing on it is one of the most common problems faced.

Once you get the hang of the Swiss Ball, the muscular stimulation of the movements will have you groaning as you work on those never-worked­-before-muscles! Worry not though, as you progress, you will become more comfortable with it and the best thing is that you are actually working harder without the conscious effort.

What Is A Swiss Ball?

Swiss Ball originate in Swiss around forty years ago and was initially developed as a rehab tool. Techniques were designed to aid in therapy for adults with mobility problems and children with neurological problems. The goal was to instill balance in a variety of movements, either using the ball as support or positioning oneself directly atop it. Its success in this area is appreciated to a great extent and this is what propelled it to the forefront of the exercise market.

Life, as we know it, is becoming more and more sedentary – lifts to bring you up to the 3rd floor, cars to transport you from home to the market 3 blocks away and instant messengers to speak to your colleague from few desks away. It is fundamentally a step forward in all aspects, except, it has significantly reduced the amount of our physical activities. And it is no secret that the key to a healthy lifestyle is proper diet and being active!

Though many are aware of the importance of exercising regularly, a significant percentage of the people of the world do not participate in any form of physical activities. “I don’t have the time” is among the many excuses we give when asked why we do not participate in physical activities. However, with Swiss Ball, you don’t need any extra time, nor place, so long as you have the ball on tow.

85, 45, 65

Those definitely aren’t the numbers of your figure after doing your Swiss Ball workouts. Those are the sizes of a Swiss Ball, ranging from a diameter of 45 cm to 85 cm. The ball can be inflated according to individual comfort and has a weight tolerance of up to 300kg! The elastic rubber used for making the ball is of burst resistance quality.

Benefits Of A Swiss Ball Workout

Works On Your Core Muscles

The primary benefit of exercising with a Swiss Ball, as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body needs to constantly engage the core stabilizers (which are deep abdominal muscles that wrap around our spine) and back muscles to ensure stability on the ball.

So, not only are you getting the benefits of a normal workout, you are also strengthening your inner muscles in which the normal workout cannot reach! Over time, these muscles will become stronger, leading to better protection of our spine. Furthermore, because we are working the deep muscles, be prepared to get a gorgeous midsection!

Prevents Back Pain

Swiss Ball also addresses one of the world’s main growing problems due to the sedentary lifestyle: back pain. Back pain can be prevented if the core stabilizers are strengthened. The ball encourages automatic alignment of the spine. If going to the gym is really a luxury for you, you can try ‘Active Sitting’. Instead of sitting on a chair at your office desk, sit on a ball. It is an alternative, back-friendly seat, that will constantly engage your core stabilizers and the posture will eliminate problems such as lower back pain, neck sore, and other postural problems caused by long term passive sitting position.

Eventually, you will see that Swiss Ball can do these amazing things to you:

  • Improves endurance, strength and mobility.
  • Provides better body posture and balance.
  • Increases lower back mobility.
  • And of course, a gorgeous and toned body!

Swiss Ball might be the only exercise that is practically suitable for all age group. Smaller balls are available for children and a range of fun, simple activities can be devised to suit them. Prenatal classes are now introducing Swiss Ball for increase of fitness and back strength. And the elderly are able to safely sit and exercise on a ball to achieve valuable improvements in mobility and balance reactions. Remember, just by balancing on the ball is already a good enough workout!

The Swiss Ball Workout

A core strengthening workout targets the 4 major abdominal muscles – rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques. Here are some workouts which you may want to try out.

The Abdominal Workouts

  1. Double Crunches – targeting the Rectus Abdominis and Transverse Abdominis. Great for six-packs/tummy and strengthening qualities. Place legs on the top of the ball and extend arms out over the head. Tuck in the abdominal while keeping the lower back close to the mat. Inhale to prepare and exhale to roll in both arms and legs. Keep eyes in between knees while sucking in the abs deeper. Inhale to extend back to the position and repeat for 15 times.
  2. Side Crunches – targeting the Internal Oblique and External Oblique. Great for waistline trimming and balancing qualities. Place ball next to hip and lean onto it. Place hands behind the head while tucking in the abs. Inhale to lift body up to a crunch and exhale back down. Balance body on the ball by tucking in abs, while using legs to firm the position on the floor. Repeat 15 times on both sides.

The Back Workouts

  1. Back Extension – to strengthen Erectus Spinae muscle that helps strengthen the spine to maintain mobility. Tones the buttocks and major back muscles. Keep legs slightly wider than hips with toes on the ground and place body down fully on the ball to stretch the spine. Extend arms out. Inhale to lift the body up by extending forward till tightening sensation felt on the back. Exhale to lower down arms and body back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Back Strengthening – to stretch the spine. Great for balancing and toning arms, back and lower body muscles. Place both arms and legs on the floor with ball right under abdominal section. Balance weight on both front and back. Inhale to extend opposite arm and leg to form a horizontal line parallel with the spine. Feel the length by reaching your arms out while pointing your leg behind, keep your eyes looking forward. Hold on one side for few seconds while breathing in and out, and then change to other side. Repeat alternatively 8 times.

Caution: Never lift too high as it may hurt the lower back.

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