Swiss Ball Moves for a Strong Core and Killer Abs by Jo Brielyn
If you have ever used a Swiss ball to perform crunches or other simple moves, you have no doubt noticed the difference in how your muscles are engaged. The Swiss ball is unstable so your core must work harder to maintain the positions. Performing exercises on the Swiss ball takes exercises to next level by challenging your balance, stability and overall coordination while you work the muscles. It also allows you to go deeper into some moves by widening the range of motion backward where you would normally have to stop because of the floor. The ab and core exercises below utilize the Swiss ball to help you use your own body weight as force to get better results from basic moves.The result? Stronger, sexy abs in less time!
Swiss Ball Ankle Taps
Lie on the Swiss ball in a basic crunch position — feet flat on the ground, knees bent, and your back conformed to the ball. Pull your abs in toward your spine and lift up, leaning your body slightly to the right as you bring your right hand to your outer right ankle and tap. Then lean to the left and tap your left hand to your left ankle. If you find that you cannot reach your ankle in this position, slide your legs back slightly toward the ball to create a shorter distance for your arms to reach. Return to the start position with your back against the ball again. That is one repetition. Do 15 reps.
To make this move more challenging: Extend your reach to the inside of each ankle for each tap to deepen the movement.
Swiss Ball V-Pass
Begin on your back with your arms stretched over your head and your legs straight in the air at 90º. With the Swiss ball gripped in your hands, lift your shoulders off the ground and bend forward to place the ball between your legs.Grip the ball between your feet and lower your arms and legs. Let your arms touch the ground again and hold your legs as close to the floor as possible without allowing them to rest on the floor. Pull your abs into your spine as you do this, to avoid straining your back. Hold that for a few seconds before passing the ball back to your hands. Focus on making it a slow, deliberate move using your abdominals and hip flexors instead of relying on momentum. Return your arms to the floor above your head. That is one repetition. Do 15 to 20 reps.
Swiss Ball Bridge
Place the Swiss ball in front of you and kneel with your forearms resting on the ball. Lift off the ground and straighten your legs until only the balls of your feet are touching the ground. Keep your upper arms bent on the top of Swiss ball, your back flat, and your abs and glutes pulled in tight. Your body should form a straight line on top of the ball. Squeeze and hold this position for 30 seconds, gradually building up to 60 seconds. Repeat this 5 to 10 times.
Swiss Ball Reverse Crunch
Lay on your back with your arms at your sides and the Swiss ball held firmly between your feet. Keep your head and upper body on the ground and lift your legs straight up until they form a 90º angle with your body. Hold the movement there for a few seconds, squeezing your abdominal muscles in and pressing your ankles to the ceiling. Slowly lower your legs to the start position. This is is one repetition. Repeat 20 times.
Swiss Ball Jackknife
Start by positioning your hands shoulder-width apart like you are preparing to do a pushup. Stretch out your legs and rest your shins on the stability ball. With your back still flat, slowly roll the ball forward by bending your knees toward your chest. Pause for a few seconds, squeeze your abs and roll your legs back out to return to the start position. That is one repetition. Do 15 to 20 reps.
To make this move more challenging: Add a pushup as your straighten your knees to return to the start position.
To get the full benefit of these gut-busting exercises, remember to contract your abdominal muscles while you perform them. Also, keep in mind that performing the exercises is only a portion of achieving the weight, look, or fitness level you have in mind. What you do in the kitchen is huge, especially when it comes to building abs. Combining these nutrition strategies for optimal fitness results by Stew Smith with your workout will help you reach your goals more effectively.
JO BRIELYN is an author and contributing writer for Get Fit Now and has currently completed 16 nonfiction books about health and wellness. Jo is the founder, writer, and editor of Creative Kids Ideas, a resource website that supplies parents, teachers, and family members with the tips and fun ideas to help build stronger, happier, and more creative kids. She is also the writer behind Good-For-Your-Health.com. Jo is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a former youth leader. She resides in Central Florida with her husband and their two daughters. Jo is the co-author of Combat Fat for Kids.