T Nation

Swiss Balls

I know MB Eric has got Coney Island Bill and uses it a fair bit, but how many others use swiss balls as part of your programs? If you use them are they used mainly for abs/ stretching or other workouts? Do you use them all year or as part of a specific phase? I currently use one as part of abs/stretching/balance but was thinking of doing a phase of about 4weeks of bodyweight/swiss ball work. Feedback and sggestions welcome. Thanks.

I have a Swiss ball at work. I use it as my chair since I tend to sit in front of my computer all day. It’s great! And occasionally I’ll work my abs while at work. And I also use it for stretching out. I have one as home as well. Sometimes I use it to sit on. Other times I’ll use it for abs or doing pushups. I only use it a few times a year for working out. And it’s usually when I’m taking time off from the gym and want to do home workouts. I should be using it more often for ab work. I have one of Paul Chek’s videos on using it for various exercises, but I haven’t checked it out yet. I’ll have to do that soon! Also, the best Swiss ball I’ve purchased has been through Paul Chek’s web site. It is very durable and doesn’t lose air too quickly. And I bought a cool pump specifically for it. So that comes in handy.

Natedogg–“Chek” out the Chek videos. I started doing some of the Swiss ball and cable ab work recently. Chek’s “core conditioning” techniques will vault your abdominal training light yrs ahead of the brain dead crunch-till-the-cows-come-home masses. He has some funky advanced stuff too. I have all four of the core conditiong tapes. They kick ass!

Yeah swiss balls are awesome but if your training purely for aesthetics there not necassery.
They keep the training interesting fun and varied
they have a role in rehabilition and stability work
personally I love them and try to use them as finishing exercises

I can now stand on one and do squats (no additional weight yet) and just my body weight really works my legs in just a couple of reps

I use them in phases although unintentional ones. Often if im really busy for a certain period of time eg Exams or work is unusually stressful I leave them out.

If I had my shit together I would use them quite a lot in the early phases of training

  • stability, and balancing strength differences in bodyparts and anatomical adaptation
  • and a bit in max strenght, hypertrophy and power phases

Dont limit swiss ball use to abs and stretching. Go hard core and see how the impact upon stabilizing forces. Numerous hard core lifts can be performed on these and should be done year round to develop full athletic potential.