Basic Swiss/Gym Ball Exercises

Basic Stretching Guidelines and Safety

Gym Ball Exercises

Hint: Don’t hold your breath and try to relax.

The most important component of your stretching program is safety. First ensure you are warmed up – or a warm down after the exercise would be ideal. Then work on using the best technique you can rather than forcing joints into poor positions. When stretching, follow the basic guidelines above.

Determining Appropriate Ball Size

When inflating the ball, it is important that you don’t have the ball too firm or too soft. Never fully inflate the ball, as this will cause problems with balance and comfort. Instead, under inflate the ball so that when you are sitting your legs are at a 90 degree angle – as shown in exercise one.

Swiss Ball

Basic Ball Size Guidelines

 

Exercise 1 – Trunk Extension

Swiss Ball Exercises

Instructions: Start with ball on your shoulders and legs bent for balance. Slowly (in control, roll back on the ball, feeling your chest and shoulders opening up. Hold for 20-25 seconds, whilst taking slow deep breaths.

Purpose: To stretch arms, shoulders, neck, chest, back, and legs.

Hint: For maximum balance and control, always have your feet placed firmly on the ground (hip width apart). To achieve this with ease, simply flex/bend your knees. Only straighten your legs when you are comfortable balancing in this position.

 

Exercise 2 – Trunk Flexion

 

Swiss Ball Exercises

Instructions: Lie with your abdomen on the ball. Bend your knees and elbows on each side of the ball. Tuck the chin in towards your chest.

Purpose: To increase flexibility in the back and the neck.

Hint: Most people tend to be very tight in their lower back area. In this exercise, try to focus on the lower part of your spine. Do this by feeling that your bottom is moving towards the floor, whilst your spine will be going the opposite direction, moving towards your head.