Exercise Ball Workout For Beginners

The Swiss Ball Workout

Last week, right after the New Year celebrations I was reading a magazine instead of going for a workout -as I had promised myself in order to lose all those extra calories gained with the festivities- when I found an article on the Swiss ball workout. The article was written by Julie Imperali, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s personal trainer. Julie claimed that following a basic routine with the aid of an exercise ball anyone could achieve a lean silhouette.

As luck would have it; I had one of those balls in my cave. I immediately went searching for it, amidst the bottles of wine and colourful jam jars. I had almost given up looking for my ball when I found it timidly hiding between an old fridge and a pile of boxes. I had never used the exercise ball, my husband had bought it to use it as a seat but gave up after he rolled over and the ball ended up bouncing around the house until someone put it in the cave.

Swiss Balls

A Swiss doctor by the name of Susan Klein-Vogelbach is responsible for promoting the use of these plastic balls in the field of orthopedic medicine at the physical therapy clinic she founded.

My Swiss Ball, A Fun Safe And Highly Effective Way To Exercise.

Basic stretch using an stability ball.  The alignment of your body is  improved when proper balance is maintained.
Basic stretch using an stability ball. The alignment of your body is improved when proper balance is maintained. | Source

As soon as I found my exercise ball I tried the exercises in the magazine. I was amazed at how easy and fun they were. I suffer from lower back pain –after pregnancy I was diagnosed with occupational/pregnancy scoliosis- and I am always looking for stretching exercises to relieve the pain. That is why I was so pleasantly surprised with the exercise ball; instead of exercise every movement felt like a gentle massage. My first try was so successful that I decided to give it a try and started looking online for more information and workouts with a ball.


Benefits of exercising with a Swiss Ball

I found out that introducing a Swiss ball in your workout has several advantages like stretching your spine and helping you to achieve a slimmer waist. Using a Swiss ball facilitates full flexion and extension of your spine thereby training your abdominals through a full range of movements.

Also using a Swiss ball promotes balance, co-ordination and stability. You are working double without even noticing. Not only are you doing the exercise (a crunch, a stretch, etc) but at the same time you are working your core muscles concentrating to maintain equilibrium on your ball.


So far I have only tried it for a week, but I am loving it. I have fun doing the exercises and I feel more supple and invigorated when I finish.


Below are some basic exercises that can be done with an exercise ball. Please bear in mind that I am new to this, I am not a professional. For proper coaching I would advice you to refer to a professional trainer. Remember, by making healthy eating choices and exercising on a regular basis your dream body can be a reality.

As with any other type of exercises it is important to warm up before engaging in demanding physical activity.

Swiss Ball Crunch

An abdominal crunch on the fitness ball has been scientifically proven to work your abs better than a regular crunch.
An abdominal crunch on the fitness ball has been scientifically proven to work your abs better than a regular crunch. | Source

Abdominal Crunch Using An Stability Ball

The idea of a Swiss ball crunch instead of an ordinary crunch on the floor is to hyperextend the spine, meaning that the abdominal muscles get a greater range of movement. It is a perfectly safe exercise, as long as you do it correctly.

How To Do A Swiss Ball Crunch:


  1. Lay on top of the ball facing up, your legs bent at a 90-degrees, your feet firmly on the ground. The Swiss ball should be between your hips and shoulders following the curvature of the spine.
  2. Clasp your arms behind your head. Relax in this position to obtain a stretch of the abdominal wall.
  3. The movement: flex your midsection raising your shoulder blades off the Swiss ball. Do not come up too high because the tension in the muscles will decrease. Concentrate on only contracting your six pack muscle to bring your shoulders towards your hips.
  4. Keep your abs squeezed-in when you are going up and slowly lower yourself back to a fully relaxed and stretched position.

Swiss Ball Crunch

Oblique Crunch Using A Swiss Ball

Oblique Crunch To Get Rid Of "Love Handles"


  1. Place the Swiss ball on the floor near to a wall.
  2. Kneel on the floor between the wall and the ball
  3. Extend one leg forward and one leg backward bracing them where the wall meets the floor. The foot of the side you are exercising should be the one extended forward. Otherwise you will be unstable and roll over. You’ll have a laugh but you will not get rid of your love handles.
  4. Rest your hip on the ball.
  5. Relax and stretch yourself sideways over the Swiss ball with your arms bent and hands clasped behind your head.
  6. Push your hips downward into the Swiss ball and crunch your body lifting off the ball in the direction of the wall until you reach the limit of your movement.
  7. Hold and slowly lower yourself back to your original position.

Swiss Ball Obliques Exercise - Lift and Twist

Stability Ball Pullover Row Exercise

Starting position
Starting position
Finish Position
Finish Position

Stability Ball Pullover Row Exercise To workout your back, your chest and abdominal muscles.

Do this back strengthening exercise regularly to get the strong, defined back of your dreams.

  1. Kneel on the ground with the Swiss ball in front of you.
  2. Place your arms on the ball with your elbows bent at a comfortable angle.
  3. Lean into the ball and let your body rock forward stretching your arms as far as possible.You might lift your feet from the ground for more stability and comfort.
  4. Pull your body back to its original position pushing down into the ball.

Rollouts to work the entire abdominal wall.

The Wall Squat

A swiss ball squat is an ideal way to start to perform squats whilst learning good technique and developing strength, before moving on to more difficult versions.

  1. Find a wall with a flat surface.
  2. Place the stability ball on the wall behind your body and lean against it. Place your feet forward slightly. Keep your back nice and flat, do not round it.
  3. Slowly lower yourself until your knees bend to 90-degrees. Look straight ahead or slightly up while squatting.
  4. At the bottom of the motion push through your heels and drive your body back to the starting position.

Wall Squat Using An Excercise Ball

Works your lower back, legs and core
Works your lower back, legs and core | Source

Hip Extensions

Staring position
Staring position
The movement
The movement

Hip Extensions

  1. Lay on the floor in a supine position.
  2. Place the Swiss ball under your legs somewhere between your calf and heel. Keep your arms on the floor
  3. The movement: Push your legs down into the ball as you push your hips upward until your body has created a straight line.  Squeeze your bottom at the top of the movement to increase intensity.
  4. Hold at the top and slowly lower your body back to the floor.
  5. Tip: The further the Swiss ball is from your hips the more intense the exercise.

Kim Strother's Swiss Ball Workout

More by this Author


Comments 72 comments

rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

nice article and great pics! it is a great work out. I bought one, we call it pilates or stability ball, a couple of years ago with a work out dvd and illustration cards. I like it especially for ab work and stretching as it feels good and there is no pain.

sometimes my neck bothers me and I lie back on it and stretch my arms out to the side. a physical therapist said it is great for relaxing the neck and spine. they are also fun to sit on and bounce while watching the news or some show. you've inspired me to bring mine out of the back office!! :]


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

rebekahELLE: That's great, I am really happy I inspired you to bring out your Pilates ball. I am just starting with it but I am sure I'll stick to eat because it feels so good.


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

princessa, you will love it as you get used to it. my son used to sit on mine (and he's bigger than me!) and I had to remember to check the air pressure and to keep it filled properly. you will soon see and feel a difference in your body! have fun.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Princessa, Nice Hub! Wonderful exercising tips and helpful illustrations. I must take my ball out of storage as well. Thank you for sharing, Blessings!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

rebekahELLE: thanks, I'll need to remember to check the air pressure :)

DeBorrah: It looks like we all have ball LOL I am really happy I rediscovered mine.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

This is great info Princessa! And the fact that you create your own pictures for illustration is simply awesome. Thanks for sharing!:)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Money Glitch: thank you for visiting. The photos are a joint effort with my little Princess, she is polishing her photographic skills :)


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is necessary and essential as well. A good guided hub.


WriteAngled profile image

WriteAngled 6 years ago from Treorci, Cymru

I've got one of these with a training video. I've never opened since I bought it just before moving house, which was shortly followed by major surgery. This rather complicated my life two years ago, but I don't have an excuse any more!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

Very good illustrations. We have some of those at the gym, but I haven't tried them yet. Thanks for sharing your workout.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

OK - I'll try it - it looks like fun. A friend uses it as a seat at her desk and loves it. Thanks!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Nice one Princessa, it looks very good, Thank you, Maita


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 6 years ago from Andalusia

Yes, those balls are great for exercise and to play games with. With a little imagination the possibilities are endless. I even used to sit on one holding the baby in my arms and gently bounce it to sleep.


ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

I found some great exercises for it for core training. very useful indeed.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Thanks for all the comments guys. This is one of the first times that I am having fun excercising indoors. I usually find it tedious to exercise indoors and prefer outdoor activities, but we are buried with snow at the moment and apart from walking the only other exercise I can do is this one.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Useful article especially with the images


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

ethel: I am happy to read that you find this hub useful. Thanks for commenting.


Rascal Russ Miles profile image

Rascal Russ Miles 6 years ago from Show Low, AZ USA

AWESOME Hub !!! You really ARE a trainer and excellent online teacher. Makes me think that I really want to 'Have A Ball'.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Rascal Russ Miles: That's some compliment, thank you :-)


marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

This has come just at the right time for me...after all those Christmas excesses; too much food...too much wine but not enough exercise!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

marieryan: We are on the same boat. So far I am keeping up my daily sessions with the ball. I am hoping to see some results soon. For more updates on how I am getting on with it you can visit me here: http://myuneditedlifeinfrance.blogspot.com/


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

This is great! I am going to check it out, sounds like something I can do. If its fun, I will stick to it. Thanks for sharing!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Funny, I bought my husband one of these a year ago and neither he nor I have used it. Oh well, it is a new year.


Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Excellent - I'll have to try some of these. I am sitting on one right now. I use mine as a computer chair. I work all day on my computer and it is the most comfortable seat I have found. It is also supposed to work your abs while you sit on it. I hope it's working!


The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

I have been looking at these balls for a year and wondering if they were just another "phase", now I'm ready to buy AND USE. Thanks for the information!


KellyEngaldo 6 years ago

Funny such a simple fitness tool but without great photos we are lost - excellent photos! Very well done!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

VioletSun: it is fun. So far I am sticking to it because I enjoy it. I don't do a full workout, but I do several sets a day of about 10 minutes each time I take a break from the computer.

Sandyspider: give it a try!

Patti Ann: ever since you mentioned it I have been trying mine as a seat too :)

The Rope: You are welcome.

Kelly: Thank you.


Tony 6 years ago

My daughter has a Swiss Ball that she uses for all of her workouts, she swears by it.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Tony: I've been trying mine for a few weeks now and I still like it and have fun doing the workout.


RosWebbART profile image

RosWebbART 6 years ago from Ireland

Will try this ; sounds fun and good exercise.


Gregg Biancci profile image

Gregg Biancci 6 years ago from The Dancefloor

Awesome hub! I love the swiss ball for balance training. I used to do a drill that involved standing on the ball and catching a medicine ball being tossed at you. Also, squats on the ball are intense!


ateenyi profile image

ateenyi 6 years ago from Chicago

Good Hub!!!!!!!!!

The hub is explicitly dedicated to swiss ball.The constant use of Swiss ball promotes balance and stability.Also using a Swiss ball promotes balance and stability.The whole hub is highly informative, culminated with huge enjoyment and fun. The photograph displayed are sparkingly beautiful. Thanks a lot for providing so fruitful hub.


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I have one of these I use for abs exercises. Great for core.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

RosWebbART: it is fun, certainly worth a try!

Gregg Biancci: Wow, that's impresing...

ateenyi: Thank you for your comment. The Swiss ball is a fun way to improve stability and balance.

festersporling1: I find that it makes it easy to do abs that work, you don't feel the work at the time but you can feel your body has had a good workout afterwards.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

james: I do have that, I never find the time -or motivation- to go periodically to the gym.

With the Swiss ball is different, I can do it at home and I do it whenever I can. I don't know if it is good or not (it seems to work well for me) but I do short periods of time whenever I can rather than doing it for a whole hour, I like to do it several times a day maybe 10 minutes at a time.


rakesh2 profile image

rakesh2 6 years ago from Hyderabad

With the Swiss ball is different, I like to do it several times a day I find that it makes it easy to do abs that work


Dan Carson profile image

Dan Carson 6 years ago

I also use the swiss ball to put my feet up on it and do push-ups.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

The Swiss Ball looks like a lot of fun!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

rakesh2: That's right!

Dan: That's a hard one, good for you! I am not good at push ups, especially after I broke my wrist. I mainly use mine for abs and stability work.

SweetiePie: It is a lot of fun, especially when you miss and roll over LOL. Exercise and laugh at the same time, what could be better.?


Part-time Writer profile image

Part-time Writer 6 years ago from Way Up North (USA)

My exercise ball isn't get much of a workout. You have inspired me to start up again. Thanks for getting me going again!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

I have seen them but never got one. After reading your hub it is definitely worth a try.You will have to add another career to your list.You would make a fun exercise ball sales lady....


online scam check profile image

online scam check 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Great hub! Thanks for sharing the many benefits of using swiss ball.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Part-time Writer: You are welcome. I always feel great when I manage to inspire someone to do something good like exercising. Thank YOU for reading.

Dream on: LOL, somehow I don't see myself as a sales lady. Thank you anyway.

Online scam check: You are welcome. I am sure that there are many more benefits that I have not explored yet.


sajan kota 6 years ago

Excellent hub covers everything one needs to know about swiss ball, i have to admit that i have go get one for myself. Princessa once again thanks a lot for the hub.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

sajan: you are very welcome.


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

Great job explaining the Swiss Ball. You make it look easy. I have balance problems so this would probably be good.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

lovelypaper: Exercising with a Swiss ball improves balance and stability so you should probably have a try to see if it works for you. It is definitely fun trying!


HealthFreak2009 profile image

HealthFreak2009 6 years ago from Texas

Your hub is awesome! I love my exerice ball. It's fun and it works!


VitamineCentral profile image

VitamineCentral 6 years ago

Not the most easy thing to do. Great illustration Princessa.


Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 6 years ago from Hong Kong

thanks for the great read. You'll make a great coach.


Dan_Solaris profile image

Dan_Solaris 6 years ago

Great Hub Princessa! More people should really know how effective the Swiss Ball is for putting fun into otherwise dull and tiresome workouts. Incorporating the exercise ball into conventional workouts like you demonstrated in your pictures also get more core-muscles into the action, leading to significantly more calorie-burn and more rapid fat-loss. It's really common sense- the more muscular effort, the more energy used-up and faster results from our efforts!


Sourish Nath 6 years ago

nice exercise tip


alexandriaruthk profile image

alexandriaruthk 6 years ago from US

this is nice and I tried to look at it online, I think I will try it, Are you the one in red -- sexy, thank you for this one!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

HealthFreak2009: Glad to hear from someone who enjoys using the Swiss ball.

VitamineCentral: Actually it is not that difficult. In fact, it is much easier than many other workouts I've tried.

Benson Yeung: Thank you Doc, but I thing I am a long long way from being a coach :)

Dan: thank you for your comment. I do certainly feel my body working harder when I use the Swiss ball than when I do the same exercise without it.

Sourish: thank you.

alexandriaruthk: Yes, that's me -and my love handles- with my battered Swiss ball.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I also have a swiss ball and I love it!! I unfortunately ended up with lower back pain after a vehicle accident and this ball does wonders. :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

AEvans: It does help a lot with back pain. I find it heavenly to stretch my back on it. If I roll softly back and forth while on my back it really feels like a back massage. The exercises I selected here are also good for relieving back pain as they stretch the back and reinforce tummy muscles.


Tomono profile image

Tomono 6 years ago

Looks like something I could do while looking after my baby...thanks for the article.


devkon 6 years ago

Nice tips. Will you please tell something about how to reduce belly & hip fat.

Thanks


amaine profile image

amaine 6 years ago from USA

Great hub! I've stopped from work in a while. I decided to give myself a break, and after that, I fats have accumulated in my hips and belly. I'm actually going out to the store and purchase one of these. Thanks for all the info that you have provided. :)


nearbuystore.com profile image

nearbuystore.com 6 years ago from Somewhere on the highway....

I am a jeweler but i also have a degree as a gymnast... i will help you guys out a little....70% of body fat can be lost from cleverly eating,30% can be lost from exercise except if you do the marathon ...With the swiss ball oblique crunches in pic 2 and 3 actually fill your hips up looking like fat even though it is muscle,because your hips grow in width.All the exercises especially the squats if not done lets say over 20 reps grow muscle and your legs and buttocks will be bigger:)...To be able to lose weight do circle training exercises and cardiovascular exercises like jogging or skiing.(bicycle isnt that good because you use only your legs ,and weight on arms wont be lost that easily).With this method if you have a big weight problem you can lose around 10% of weight in less than a month.I can write a hub if you guys want me to


mydetective profile image

mydetective 6 years ago from Illinois

These are wonderful tips. I like this hub. it is a nice way to be fit, I also purchase a Swiss ball today. thanks for sharing these awesome tips here.


osman739 profile image

osman739 6 years ago

yes i like to do


nearbuystore.com profile image

nearbuystore.com 6 years ago from Somewhere on the highway....

I made a small little hub after i saw this as i havent seen a professional help out on the topic about losing weight and training effectively http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-lose-weight-trainin...


Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

I also have a Swiss ball. It is very good for the lower back pain that I have. I hadn´t thought of looking online for more exercises. A very good hub.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I hope this information inspiring many woman doing this exercise like you. You look beautiful and energetic, I know that from your picture above. thank you very much.


Seen On TV profile image

Seen On TV 6 years ago

Great Hub. I loved using the stability ball at my gym but haven't picked one up for home use. I didn't even realize it was called a Swill Ball.


abdominal ball 6 years ago

The great thing about the stability ball is it raises the intensity of any exercise you perform with it. Not only does it help improve co-ordination, balance, strength and flexibility it also increases your range of motion and is like a portable gym!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Great Hub! I will be sure to link back! In Italy they sometimes call it the Fitball too!


Alison Graham profile image

Alison Graham 6 years ago from UK

thanks for all the information here, but you might like to know that only the first video actually works now, the others say removed or private?


DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit 5 years ago

Using a Swiss stability ball seems like a fun, low impact way for those pursuing a DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit with defective hip replacements to strengthen core muscles, add flexibility, and improve overall health. Thanks!


Paul 5 years ago

What can I say! I love Swiss balls. You can get fit with your partner. I have once made love with my wife on a Swiss ball. You have to try to balance while making love with your partner.


KBEvolve profile image

KBEvolve 5 years ago from United States

Swiss balls are incredible. I view them as the most functional and enjoyable piece exercise equipment in existence.

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