Swiss Ball Abdominal Workouts

Swiss Ball Abdominal Workouts

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Consistent time on the Swiss Ball can lead to a toned tummy.

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The Swiss ball, also known as the stability or fitness ball, is a big inflatable ball that can be used to strengthen and tone your core muscles. Originally used for rehabilitation exercises by Swiss therapists in the 1960s, the ball has gained popularity today as a safe way to increase flexibility, balance, coordination and strength. Your abdominal muscles can benefit from a variety of exercises on the Swiss ball. When performed in conjunction on a regular basis, at least three times a week, your abs will gain strength, giving your stomach a lean, muscular look. Consult your doctor to help you determine the intensity level of your ab workout, but in general, 15 repetitions of each exercise should be sufficient for strengthening purposes.


The common crunch can be transformed into a searing challenge on the Swiss Ball, intensifying your regular workout. Crunches performed on a fitness ball will help tone your ab muscles and the oblique muscles on your sides. You can use the ball to specifically target the upper abs by lying with your lower back resting on the ball and your upper back and shoulders extended slightly off the Swiss ball. To support your neck, put your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders toward the sky without pulling on your neck. To target your lower-ab muscles, roll the ball closer to your upper back and perform the same motion. With the ball higher up on your back, your range of motion will increase, as will the burn. As an additional challenge to this ab workout, include a twist at the top of your crunch to target your obliques.

Reverse Crunches

If you want an ab workout that tones your lower abdominal muscles, incorporate reverse crunches into your fitness regimen. Lie on your back on the mat with your feet on the ball. Roll the ball until it is behind your thighs with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor and your lower legs parallel to the floor. To perform the reverse crunch, lift your hips from the ground, bringing your knees toward your chest. Return to your original position and repeat the motion.

The Plank

For a more holistic workout that includes your abs as well as several other core muscle groups, perform the plank on a Swiss ball. Begin on your knees with your elbows on top of the ball, as if you are about to pray. Lifting your knees slowly from the floor, step your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your feet to your shoulders. Hold the plank pose for 20 seconds and then give yourself a rest.

Leg Drop

Another ab workout that strengthens your stomach muscles, along with your hip flexors, is the leg drop. Lie on your back with the Swiss Ball between your feet. Slowly begin to lift your legs upward, grasping the ball in between your feet. Breathe out deeply and carefully lower your legs to the ground until you feel the ball touch the floor softly. Then inhale and raise the ball again. Repeat the exercise.


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