9 New Swiss Ball Exercises for a Rock-Hard Core

Swiss ball exercises will fire up your core. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

A Swiss ball is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment out there. You've probably seen the huge inflated ball used for stretching or performing sit-ups (or maybe even for sitting at a desk), but there's so much more you can try! This workout will strengthen your entire body, focusing on your abdominals and other core muscles. Best of all, the only equipment you need is a Swiss ball and a set of dumbbells.

Hamstring Curl

For the hamstring curl, keep your arms at your sides for added stability. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your palms pressing into the ground.
  2. Place your feet on the Swiss ball.
  3. Bring your feet toward your body as you lift your hips off the ground and squeeze your glutes.
  4. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Reps: three sets of 15

Targets: glutes (booty), hamstrings (back of the thighs) and calves

Swiss Ball Chest Press

The Swiss ball chest press is a great exercise for your chest muscles. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Start face up with your feet flat on the floor, your knees bent and your upper back and head on the Swiss ball.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Hold your body in a straight line from your knees to your chest and make sure your core is engaged the entire time.
  4. Press the dumbbells up directly over your chest.
  5. Lower them back down but don't let your hands dip lower than shoulder level.

Reps: three sets of 15

Targets: core, chest and shoulders

Swiss Ball Wood Chop

Target your abs with the Swiss ball wood chop. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Start with your legs wide, holding a Swiss ball with both hands.
  2. Rotate your torso to the left side while holding the Swiss ball high above your head.
  3. Make a downward "chopping" motion toward your right knee with the ball.
  4. Allow your legs and torso to follow the ball, swiveling your legs and reversing the lunge.
  5. At the end of the move, the Swiss ball should be in front of your right knee.
  6. Keep your core tight throughout the movement to protect your lower back.

Reps: three sets of 15 reps.

Targets: abdominal muscles, especially obliques (side abs)

Swiss Ball Leg Lift

Keep your hands under your glutes to modify this move. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Lie face up on the ground.
  2. Place the Swiss ball between your feet and squeeze it so it doesn't slip. If desired, place your hands underneath your glutes for lower-back support.
  3. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor. At the same time, raise your upper back off the ground.
  4. To complete the rep, lower your upper back and legs, but don't allow the Swiss ball to touch the floor.

Reps: three sets of 20

Targets: abdominal muscles

Swiss Ball Reverse Crunch

Try and link your breath and movement in this workout. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Place your feet on top of the Swiss ball with your knees bent and your toes pointed upward.
  2. Place your hands on the back of your head to support your head and neck.
  3. Tighten your abs to crunch up, lifting your upper back a couple of inches off the floor.
  4. Slowly lower your torso back to the starting position.
  5. Exhale as you crunch up, and inhale as you come down.

Reps: three sets of 25

Targets: abdominal muscles

Swiss Ball Glute Raise

Keep your heels on the ball, toes pointed up. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Lie face up with your knees bent and your heels on top of a Swiss ball. Place your arms on the floor at your sides.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your heels on the Swiss ball with your toes pointed up.
  3. Pause, and then return to the starting position, using your arms for balance.

Reps: three sets of 20

Targets: glutes, calves and hamstrings

Swiss Ball Cross Crunch

Try your best to complete three sets of 20 repetitions of this exercise. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Lie on the ground, hands holding the ball above your head.
  2. Lift your right knee toward your left elbow and crunch with the ball touching your knee.
  3. Alternate sides with that same movement without letting your upper body rest on the ground between crunches.

Reps: three sets of 20

Targets: abdominal muscles, especially the obliques

Swiss Ball Squat Twist

As you twist your body, don't move your feet. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a Swiss ball in front of you at shoulder height.
  2. Bend at your hips and knees to lower your body into a slight squat.
  3. As you squat, twist your body to the right without moving your feet.
  4. Switch sides. Stay in your squat, but twist the ball to the left.

Reps: three sets of 20

Targets: legs and obliques

Reverse Fly on a Swiss Ball

Shoot to complete three sets of 15 reps for this move. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)
  1. Life face down with your chest on a Swiss ball and your toes behind you.
  2. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand.
  3. Lift your arms to your sides like a bird.
  4. Lift as high as you can with your arms slightly bent.
  5. Slowly return the dumbbells to the ground.

Reps: three sets of 15

Targets: upper back and shoulders


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