Advanced Swiss Ball Exercises

Written by Tele Demetrious, Physiotherapist, BPhysio(Hons)
Reviewed by Brett Harrop, APA Sports Physiotherapist, BPhysio(Hons), MPhysio(Sports Physio)
Updated:

Exercises > Swiss Ball > Advanced Swiss Ball Exercises

The following Swiss Ball Exercises are designed to improve strength, core stability, balance and posture. You should discuss the suitability of these Swiss Ball Exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. As a rule, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Generally, you should begin with the Basic Swiss Ball Exercises and then the Intermediate Swiss Ball Exercises before commencing these Advanced Swiss Ball Exercises.

The following Advanced Swiss Ball Exercises should be performed approximately 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase your pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength and control improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions or frequency of the exercises.


Swiss Ball Exercises – Advanced

Swiss Ball Single Leg Squats

Begin this Swiss Ball exercise in standing on one leg, with your foot facing forwards and a Swiss Ball positioned between a wall and your lower back (figure 1). Slowly perform a squat, keeping your back straight. Your knee should not bend beyond right angles and should be in line with your middle toe. Your knee also should not move forward past your toes. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Swiss Ball Single Leg Squats

Figure 1 – Swiss Ball Single Leg Squats

Swiss Ball Single Leg Hamstring Curls

Begin this exercise lying on your back with a Swiss Ball under your leg and your other leg bent as demonstrated (figure 2). Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knee tightening the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side, provided the exercise is pain free.

Swiss Ball Single Leg Hamstring Curls

Figure 2 – Swiss Ball Single Leg Hamstring Curls (right)

Swiss Ball Prone Leg Lifts

Begin this Swiss Ball exercise with your hands on the floor, your back straight and your feet on a Swiss Ball as demonstrated (figure 3). Hold this position and slowly lift one leg keeping your knee straight and the Swiss Ball still. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other side. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions alternating between legs provided the exercise is pain free.

Swiss Ball Prone Leg Lifts

Figure 3 – Swiss Ball Prone Leg Lifts

Swiss Ball Push Ups (Hands on Ball)

Begin this Swiss Ball exercise in the push up position on a Swiss Ball as demonstrated (figure 4). Keeping your back and neck straight and the Swiss Ball still, slowly straighten your elbows tightening the chest muscles, then return to the starting position. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Swiss Ball Push Ups (Hands on Ball)

Figure 4 – Swiss Ball Push Ups (Hands on Ball)

Swiss Ball Side Bends with Rotation

Begin this Swiss Ball exercise with your feet apart and against a wall and your hip and back resting on a Swiss Ball (figure 5). Your chest should be facing the ground as demonstrated. Keeping the Swiss Ball still, slowly perform a side bend, rotating your torso so your chest faces upwards as shown. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side provided the exercise is pain free.

Swiss Ball Side Bends with Rotation

Figure 5 – Swiss Ball Side Bends with Rotation

Swiss Ball Jackknives

Begin this exercise with your hands on the floor, your back straight and your feet on a Swiss Ball as demonstrated (figure 6). Keeping your back straight, slowly bring your knees towards the floor while maintaining a slight curve in your lower back until your knees are below your hips. Slowly return to the starting position. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free and you are maintaining good posture.

Swiss Ball Jackknives

Figure 6 – Swiss Ball Jackknives

Swiss Ball Lumbar Extensions with Rotation

Begin this exercise with your feet against the wall, a Swiss Ball between your thighs and your torso leaning forwards and rotated to one side as demonstrated (figure 7). Keeping your back straight and the Swiss Ball still, slowly raise your back whilst rotating your torso to the other side. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free. Repeat the exercise rotating your torso to the other side.

Swiss Ball Lumbar Extensions with Rotation

Figure 7 – Swiss Ball Lumbar Extensions with Rotation (left rotation)

Swiss Ball Sit Ups with Twist

Begin this exercise lying on a Swiss Ball with your feet apart and your hands behind your head as demonstrated (figure 8). Keeping the Swiss Ball as still as possible, slowly perform a sit up taking your right elbow to your left knee. Slowly return to the starting position and then perform on the other side. Begin with small movements and as your skill improves over time, move your elbow and knee closer together during each repetition. Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free and you are maintaining control.

Swiss Ball Sit Ups with Twist

Figure 8 – Swiss Ball Sit Ups with Twist


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