Cardio can be so boring. There are the endless rounds of ab crunches, treadmill routines and weight training regimes. If your goal is to get in shape, tone up and look good there are other more fun things to do that just the usual gym workouts. If you want to get the fun back into your exercise program then here’s something that may interest you, Swiss ball training.
You can train your entire body with challenging moves that can put the excitement back into your training time. A Swiss ball is traditionally used in Pilates. You may know them under a different moniker; balance balls, yoga balls, or gym balls. Whatever you call them they all do the same thing. Used correctly you can train the entire body with them.
What’s The Dealio?
A Swiss ball is round in shape. It therefore is unstable to sit or lean on. Yet this is what you will be using it for. You have to fight against its momentum to stay afloat during your workout. Your core gets a hammering as you use it to try and maintain balance on the ball. The importance in having a strong core is now paramount in modern training routines.
The core connects your whole body together, it is responsible for keeping your spine aligned, pulling in your waist and protecting your back from injury. The core is the central hub that connects all the other pieces of your body together.
If you want a healthy back, develop a strong core. If you want to lift massive weights, a strong core is essential. If you want a more athletic, flexible body, then start taking core training seriously.
The core has been getting a lot of focus with modern training techniques such as the plank, but the Swiss Ball provides a unique way to work the core, as the ball is always moving. The core has to work extra hard to stabilize the ball and prevent it from moving too far.
Swiss Ball Workout Routine
Here is a Swiss Ball workout that trains the entire body. It is named the Swiss ball push-up and it’s also a good introductory exercise to get you used to the ball. This exercise looks like a traditional push up except you lean your weight on the ball.
To begin bend at the waist and place your hands on the floor in front of the ball. Roll onto the ball and rest your feet on top of the ball. Now you are ready for the push-ups.
Lean your weight forward and push up off the floor. This works your shoulder, triceps and upper chest. It also works the abdomen and core as it tightens up to prevent you falling off the ball. Start with 10 reps and work up to 20. Do 1-2 sets the first time you try the exercise, and add more sets over time if you feel it’s too easy.
You can see exactly how it’s performed in this video.
Unless you’re a natural, most people will take a while to become comfortable with the Swiss Ball. If you find you are unable to stay on it for more than a second or two, here’s a tip. Make ultra-small movements at first. Practice moving side to side slowly without performing any radical movements. Put your hands on the floor as if you were getting into the push-up position. Rock from side to side. This will help you to get a feel for how the ball balances as your weight shifts from side to side.
Don’t go crazy if it seems a hard task to master. Remember it’s also supposed to be fun.
About The Author
Molly Wainright is a full time fitness instructor. You can read up on her HIIT style treadmill workouts at: http://treadmillreviewers.net