The swiss ball also called fitball or gym ball (etc.) allows you to work your muscles in a relatively playful way, whether in fitness preparation or during the season. The swiss ball is used regularly during pregnancy, during childbirth but also in fitness rooms because it allows you to work, to stimulate the deep muscles: abdominal, lumbar, buttocks, pectoral, back… We will see here what the different exercises are with a fitball, a real tool for muscle strengthening.
How to choose the right size for a swiss ball?
There are different diameters for Swiss Ball, here are our tips:
- If you measure between 5.1ft and 5.5ft, diameter 55
- If you measure between 5.5ft and 6.1ft, diameter 65
- If you measure more than 6.1ft, diameter 75
We advise you, according to your athletes of course, to take diameters 65 and possibly a 55 and 75.
What exercises can I do with a Swiss ball?
Abs core muscle
Starting position: sitting on the Swiss Ball, knees at 90°, feet flat on the ground, legs slightly apart and the sportsman pushes the ball to the ground with his buttocks to make it stable.
Work: the athlete lifts one foot off the ground (e. g. left), contracts the abs well and holds the position for 30 to 45 seconds depending on the level of the athletes. 20 sec recovery then other leg. To be done 3 times on each side.
Starting position: same starting position as above except that the arms are stretched in front of the athlete
Work: when the athlete inhales, he lowers his chest, makes the Swiss Ball “roll” to have his back resting on it. Then, he extends his arms in front of him so that only the abs hold. When exhaling, it slowly returns to the initial position, but this return is done through the abs and not with the help of the legs or others. To do about ten times.
Starting position: the athlete is lying on the ground, hand along the body, the Swiss Ball is stuck between your feet.
Work: the athlete lifts his legs (stretched) so that the body and legs are 90°. He holds this position for 15 seconds while pressing the fitball between his feet. Then gently release and start again over 15 series of 15 seconds. Important: the whole rest of the body (back, arms, head) is always on the ground.
Hamstrings and buttocks
Starting position: the athlete lies on his back, arms along his body, feet are placed on the ball (in the centre of the ball). The legs must be stretched, and the pelvis no longer touches the ground. It is necessary to reach a straight line between the chest, pelvis and legs, which means that the buttocks are always contracted (if this is not the case, the athlete loses his balance 😉).
Work: you always have to take off one foot while keeping the leg straight … the objective being to lift the leg as high as possible while maintaining balance of course. Lift for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly return to the initial position and work with the other leg stretched. Do these 10 to 15 times (depending on the maintenance time) per leg.
Abdo, lumbar, arm and shoulders
Starting position: the athlete puts himself in a abs core muscle position (leaning on the elbows) with the only difference that the legs (at the tibia) are placed on the fitball. Just like hamstring exercise, the body must make a straight line, for this purpose, it is necessary to tighten the buttocks and stomach.
Work: you must do pumps while finishing with your arms outstretched, but you have to do it slowly to maintain balance because, as a reminder, it’s not just your arms that work. In the sheathing position, hold for 15 seconds and then repeat. Do 5 sets at the beginning and then increase as you go along.
Where to buy a swiss ball?
We have a partnership with Amazon, here are some suggestions below
Conclusion on the swiss ball
In addition to the muscle strengthening exercises seen above, it is possible to tone your body, stretch or even do proprioception work. Be aware that it is also an interesting tool to fight against back and knee pain.