ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Free Weight Stability Ball Exercises-Swiss Ball Core Exercises and More

Updated on December 23, 2012

The stability ball or exercise ball, (also known as Swiss ball) is a great addition to the home or commercial gym. It even has practical applications in a hardcore powerlifting gym, and can help any athlete improve core strength.

While this inexpensive and simple piece of exercise equipment is great on its own, it can make free weight exercises exceptionally challenging.

You won’t benefit from trying all the traditional exercises on a stability ball (squat on the floor please!) However, here are a few free weight exercises, and bodyweight exercises that are enhanced by lying, or leaning, on a swiss exercise ball.

Start out slow with ball exercises until you grow accustomed to doing the movements on an unstable surface. It forces you to consciously engage the core, so use a lighter weight to begin with.

Dumbbell Presses or Flyes

Why do these on a Swiss ball? Yes, it engages the core, but if you are doing them right, the core should always be engaged. On a swiss ball, the exercise engages the whole body to some extent in order to maintain core stability. At the same time, the primary movers (pecs, shoulders, triceps) need to be work just as hard.

Some trainers have advocated using the bounce of the ball to help move heavier weight. However, if you choose to do this, it should be after you have learned control. A ‘ballistic bounce’ will place less emphasis on the primary movers, and may cause a loss of balance.

A couple of tips:

-Use spotters to hand the dumbbells to you when the weights get heavier.

-The shoulders and upper torso should be on the ball, while the hips and legs are in bench press position on the floor.

Dumbbell/Barbell Pullovers

Straight arm pullovers are an excellent chest exercise, as well as affecting the lats, and to a lesser extent, the shoulders and triceps. Done on the stability ball? You guessed it, a serious core workout.

As with the dumbbell presses or flyes, you are forced to concentrate harder on the primary movers while maintaining a stable core. Use a single dumbbell and hold it under the flat of the weight on one side.

Start with the upper body on the ball, the hips and legs on the floor, and the dumbbell (or barbell) raised above your chest. Arms should be straight throughout the movement.

This can also be done with a cable pulley and a straight bar attachment. See the video below for a demonstration.


Dumbbell Russian Twists

With a heavy enough weight, the Russian twist is difficult enough. Progressing this exercise to the stability ball with a dumbbell is quite an accomplishment.

With the upper body on the ball, the hips up and the entire core engaged, start with the dumbbell in both hands with the arms extended over the chest. Keep your eyes on the weight as you lower it first to one side and then to the other.

Done properly, this swiss ball exercise engages the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, the transverse abdominis and other muscle groups of the upper body to a lesser extent.

Shoulder Work: TYW Flyes

The reverse flye ball exercise is a great way to work the rear deltoids, and to a lesser extent, the muscles of the upper back (rhomboids, trapezius.) To hid all three heads of the shoulder, try a round of TYW. 'T' for laterals straight out to the side, 'Y' for bringing the arms straight up into a Y formation and 'W' for the shape made when the dumbbells are raised straight up with the elbows bent.

While there are many more free weight exercises you can perform safely on a swiss ball, not all of them are enhanced by using an unstable surface. Try the exercises above to mix up your routine, but be sure to build the foundation of your program on stable ground.

Now imagine you're holding dumbbells.
Now imagine you're holding dumbbells. | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Thanks C-Bless!

    • C-Bless profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Good info to use (I have a ball). Thank you for sharing...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)