April 19th, 2022
The reality is that sometimes, workouts can become stale. But thankfully, introducing a simple and inexpensive piece of equipment – like a Swiss Ball – can open up a ton of new possibilities and/or make our workout more challenging.
Using a Swiss Ball is a great way to add core and balance work into any of your other exercises. Below is a sample of some quick and simple exercises to get you started. There are many more where these came from – a Nielsen Fitness personal trainer can show you countless ways of incorporating a Swiss Ball into your workout routine.
1. Push Ups With Feet on Swiss Ball
A Swiss Ball adds to the challenge of a push up by elevating your feet and incorporating balance work.
How to do it: Lie face down on the ball with your hands and feet touching the ground and your stomach on top of the ball. Walk your hands out until your shins are resting on the ball and your torso is in a flat push-up position. Proceed with your push ups.
2. Four-Point Balance
This exercise, which involves supporting yourself on all fours on the ball, is one of our favourite core strength exercises.
How to do it: Begin by placing your hands on the ball shoulder width apart. Lean your knees onto the ball. Using your core muscles, roll the ball forward until your feet come off the floor and you are balancing on your hands and knees on the ball. The exercise can be made more difficult by progressing to the two-point balance on your knees only.
3. Hamstring Curl
This is a great way to engage your core and lower body.
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor with your arms extended out to the sides and calves and heels resting on the ball. Making sure to use your glutes and abs, lift your hips off the floor. While exhaling, slowly bend your knees, rolling the ball towards you using your feet. Pause for a few seconds, inhale, and straighten your legs out again. For maximum benefit, keep your hips in the air for the whole set – but you can also lower them in between if this feels too challenging at first.
4. Wall Squat
In lieu of routine squats, lean on your Swiss ball for an extra challenge!
How to do it: Begin by standing about three feet away from the wall (facing away from it) with feet shoulder width apart. Place the ball between your lower back and the wall and squat down slowly until the legs form 90-degree angles at the knees. From here you have the option of holding this position, or you can stand back up and get ready to squat again. Make sure you have lots of wall space and that any breakables are out of the way the first few times you do this! For an even simpler way to do this, you can sub out the Swiss ball and simply lean against the wall.
5. Stability Plank
This will increase the intensity and difficulty of a standard plank and add in some shoulder and arm work.
With one leg extended behind you, rest your elbows and forearms on the ball. Step the other leg back so the feet are together. Start off holding the plank for 15-20 seconds and gradually increasing the time spent in your plank. Remember to keep your hips up. An added challenge to work up to is a straight-arm plank on the ball.
Consistency is Key
It’s important to challenge yourself and enjoy your workouts – and incorporating new exercises and pieces of equipment is a great way to do it! If you’re looking for more exercise ideas and motivation to help you get and stay on track, Nielsen Fitness is here to help. We offer in-home personal trainers in Toronto and virtual personal trainers. Contact us today to get started.