Swiss Balls – Why Use Them?

Clarice House Personal Trainer Nolan Sunnassee investigates the benefits of using Swiss Balls.

Swiss balls are common place within gyms around the world now but what benefits do they provide for the average gym goer?

Made popular by rehabilitation specialists in Switzerland over sixty years ago and popularised by American physical therapists (Chek 1996, 2000), Swiss ball have various purposes:

 

  • Beneficial for torso and upper body exercises (Boyle 2004)
  • Excellent for promoting posture (Chek 2000)
  • Versatility – can be used as a surface to sit on and exercise or as an exercise in itself
  • Excellent for promoting posture by encourageing you to position yourself in better alignment
  • Good tool for exercise rehabilitation
  • Nervous system stimulus (Verstegen 2004)

 

Muscle activation however is not improved as highlighted in a recent study by (Uribe 2010).

 

Swiss ball Lower Ab exercise

Swiss ball Oblique exercise

Swiss ball Glute exercise

Swiss ball with medicine ball abdominal crunches

Swiss ball hamstring curls

Swiss ball press ups

 

References

Boyle, M, 2004,‘Functional Training for Sports’, Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics

 

Chek, P, 2000,‘Swiss Ball Training’, CA, Chek Institute

 

Uribe, B, et al, 2010,’Muscle Activation When Performing the Chest Press and Shoulder Press on a Stable Bench vs. a Swiss Ball’, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,  vol 24(4)1028-1033

 

Verstegen, M, 2004,‘Core Performance’, St Martins Press

About the Author:

Nolan Sunnassee
Nolan Sunnassee is a personal trainer based in Colchester, Essex, with extensive professional experience in one on one fitness training, nutrition advice, and health/lifestyle management.