Fitness has its trends. There’s the latest craze that arrives full of fanfare, stands the test of time and becomes everyone’s staple. Then there are the fads that whilst they seemed great at the time they quickly fall into the abyss.
HIIT, bootcamps, personal training, pilates and circuits are great examples of fitness trends that are well and truly here to stay. But does anyone still use the ab cruncher, ab roller, or attend step class?
And then there’s classic pieces of kit, usually simple and inexpensive, yet highly effective!
For us the Swiss ball is one of those all time classics.
A great gym or decent personal trainer will own a number of these making sure they’re integrated into training programmes for beginners right the way through to advanced and world class athletes.
Whilst there’s a whole repetoire of moves for this great piece of kit in this feature we’re sharing 3 of our all time classics.
1 – Lateral Ball Roll – A truly big bang exercise hitting every muscle in the body. This exercise requires strength to stabilise clients in all three planes of human movement. Benefits include increased muscle recruitment of hamstrings, glutes and the abdominal wall, improved balance and coordination.
Looks easy but be warned looks are deceiving! It’s all about small subtle movement this one to begin.
From a sitting position on a Swiss ball roll down the ball so the head, shoulders and upper back are supported on the ball.
Place the tongue to the roof of the mouth behind the front two teeth and keep the belly button drawn in toward the spine
Move across the ball to the right keeping the alignment hold 2 seconds, then back to the centre and then to the left hold 2 seconds. Build to 5 reps each side.
Keep the hips up in line with the shoulders and pelvis level.
2 – SHEBOB
Place the tongue to the roof of the mouth behind the front two teeth and keep the belly button drawn in toward the spine.
With the hips up and in line with the shoulders slowly lower the hips toward the floor keeping the shins vertical and the head on the ball. The knees should not extend beyond the toes. Slowly lift the hips back to the start position. Perform 6-10 reps.
3 – Two Legged Bridge
With the legs hooked over a Swiss ball and arms outstretched with the palms facing upward extend the hips and lengthen the legs keeping the belly button drawn inward toward the spine. Hold this position for 3 seconds before slowly returning to the start position. Repeat for 6-10 repetitions. By lowering the arms and/or moving the ball further away from the pelvis will make this exercise more challenging.
Now time to get on the ball and enjoy these classics!