Using a Swiss ball (or gym ball) to help with your core work makes for a challenging workout – introducing the element of instability means you have to work harder to control movements. By a ball from around a tenner – you’ll find they come in different sizes so make sure you buy one you can use – and make sure it’s fully inflated to keep the moves difficult! Try these four Swiss ball exercises for runners for a quick but intense core workout.
Side Plank on a Swiss Ball
Benefits: Great for core strength and working the side muscles (obliques) and ideal for strengthening arms and wrists and improving balance. The addition of the Swiss Ball creates more instability, making the exercise even harder than the Elevated Side Plank.
- Kneel beside the Swiss Ball.
- Tighten your abdominals and tilt your body sideways, leaning into the ball through your forearm.
- Make sure your body is in a straight line.
- Don’t tilt your pelvis forwards.
Swiss Ball Glute Lift
Benefits: Works the glutes
- Lie flat on your back with a Swiss Ball under your heels.
- Go into a bridge position and keep knees slightly bent, bringing the ball towards you.
- Gently roll the ball back out to straighten the legs.
Swiss Ball Back Extension with Arm Rotation
Benefits: Works the back and challenges your core as you have to work hard to keep your body stable in this position.
- As with the Swiss Ball Back Extension, lie face down on a Swiss Ball. Tense your core.
- Place your arms to your sides for the start position.
- Then gently arch your back into a plank position and raise your arms out, extending them behind you.
- As you arch your back, gently rotate your body to one side, then return to the start position.
- Repeat on the other side.
Swiss Ball Roll In and Out
Benefits: Works the core and improves mobility in the shoulders and rear upper arms.
- Kneel on a mat with your elbows resting on a Swiss Ball.
- Gently roll the ball forward on your elbows without slouching.
- Keep your core tensed and roll the ball back to the start position.