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Swiss Ball Exercises

Don’t Do Theses

Swill Ball Exercises

swiss ball exercisesSwiss ball exercises have been popular for some time now. With buzz words like functional fitness and core training the Swiss ball or stability ball can now be found in every gym around. They have become so popular that trainers and gym rats everywhere have come up with new and creative ways to use the stability ball in their workout routine.

But there is a problem…

there are some swiss ball exercises that just shouldn’t be done! It is one thing if you are a circus performer, or a seal, but for someone looking to build muscle fast, get stronger, and burn fat, you are better off to leave the following exercise ball workouts to the side show performers. Don’t do the following swiss ball exercises.

Before you say anything about building a strong core and all that other garbage you have been fed I will say this, as with anything there is good and bad and there are some swiss ball exercises that you may want to incorporate into your workout.  But before you give those a try check out the list of do not do this at home.

The first one has to be squats.  If your trainer or workout program has you doing squats on the stability ball, run…

run as fast as you can in the opposite direction!

don not do swiss ball exercisesI know it may look cool or be impressive, but how cool do you think you’re to look when you’re lying on the floor pinned underneath the bar and your trainer rushing to call 911.

Not only is this dangerous and stupid, it doesn’t do you any good. You are definitely not going to get better at squats and it is going to take you forever to get on the ball, gain your balance, then have a bar handed to you. Why waist the time?

Wall squats with the stability ball between you and the wall are not any better.  Skip those and lean how to squat properly, you will see way more benefits in terms of strength and changes in you body doing squats the right way.

Stability Ball Chest Press

This is an exercise I have seen countless times, all the way from college athletes to housewives. No matter who does it it makes me cringe every time I see it. Aside from the fact that it’s not safe, it just doesn’t make sense. Sure you get greater core activation, but what are you working, your chest, or your core. Just like when doing squats on the ball the weight you can use here is so much less than what you can do on a stable surface so how effective of an exercise is it a developing the targeted muscle if the weight is so light.  I say none and that you are just waisting your time.

I’m not a big believer in blending exercises. If you want to work your chest there are much better exercises. The same goes with working your core. So why would you do 2 inferior exercises!

The same goes for these stability ball exercises:

  • shoulder press
  • triceps extensions
  • biceps curls

Swiss Ball Ab Exercises to Avoid

In addition to the the other stability ball exercises mentioned you may also want to stay away from these ab exercises too:

  • any sit up version, that would include any exercise that you are sitting on the ball or have you feet up on the ball while doing a sit up
  • Leg Lifts
  • Lower Ab Lean

Adding the ball to the equation doesn’t make these exercises good.

Effective Swiss Ball Exercises

There are some good uses for an exercise ball.  The following gym ball exercises do have value and will make a good addition to any fitness or workout routine.

Stability Ball Push-Ups

This is an exercise you don’t see very often, but should. You may be thinking why would I condemn a Swiss ball chest press but recommend push-ups on the ball. There are a few reasons, but the most important is that you’re not doing these push-ups to build your chest muscles. But rather to improve shoulder stability, and strength. This is more of a corrective exercise and shoulder health movement.

Stability Ball Ab Exercises

Swiss ball exercises are great for working your core if done correctly and with purpose. Think about adding these exercises into your ab workout routine.


Planks work your abs and lower back which are collectively known as your core muscles. These exercises are performed with a static contraction.

  1. Start of by place your forearms shoulder-width apart on the ball and place your toes together behind your body.
  2. Raise your hips up to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and hold this position.
  3. Challenge yourself by holding for longer and longer durations each time.
  4. Increase the intensity of the plank – place your hands on the ball. To make it even more difficult push the ball further away from you.

Stability Pikes

Pikes or jackknives are great.

  1. Brace your abs
  2. Place your elbows on a bench
  3. Rest your shins on the ball.
  4. With your arms straight and your back flat, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  5. Keeping your back straight roll the swiss ball as close to your chest as possible by contracting your abs and pulling it forward.
  6. Pause,
  7. Return to your starting position
  8. Repeat

Do NOT round your lower back.

Swiss Ball Roll Outs

Start off kneeling and facing your exercise ball

With your knees in the same position and your wrists on the ball, push the ball away from you so that you are extended horizontally.

Finnish by pulling with your ab muscles, to return to your vertical stating position.

There you have it, movements to avoid and some to do when looking for Swiss Ball Exercises.

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