Stability balls or Swiss balls, as they are also called fool by looking funny and bouncy, but do not make a mistake: they are a weapon of muscle destruction (the good kind of but destruction). Whether with the fitness machine for crunches or as a replacement for your office chair, this thing is not a joke. Squats while standing against it? This requires some balance, courage and mindfulness on the next level.
Think of it as another sweat for professional surfer Paige Alms, who posted a video of five of the toughest Swiss ball exercises on Instagram. This will hurt your stomach and thighs just by watching them.
As the first female Big Wave Master (a nod she received in 2016), Alms knows what it takes to stand on this board (and stay upright): a A solid core that helps her to maintain balance, regardless of the size of the wave she rides on. All trunk muscles from front to back are effectively braced to maintain control of the water. She also needs strong arms, shoulders, thighs, buttocks and calves.
"When you're on the road, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to fit into a workout," she tagged the video post. "Adaptable to your environment is the key!" Sure, you may not pack a deflated Swiss ball in your carry-on, but most gyms in hotels have this OG unit lying around, and it's a surprisingly versatile tool. (Proof: 8 full-body stability exercises that go beyond basic crunches)
"It's a total body workout that aims to get the upper body, core and lower body working," says Alms about her Swiss ball cycle. "Even the Superdog can be quite challenging, but it's a great way to practice or modify in the beginning." This is basically Alms' up-and-coming version of the Bird Dog, which is still a challenge for the stable floor. So it's easy to see how much you have to have your talent to get your core on a stability ball. (See also: The Bodyweight Exercises Every Woman Should Know for Superior Strength)
There are endless stability ball exercises, but Alms says that these are still her goals for basic body weight training. "Cross-body core work, dealing with opposing sides, is very important in building strength," she says. Alms adds that she's a big fan of workouts that get creative, so it's no wonder you do not see traditional crunches or push-ups in your routine.
Are you ready to challenge your nuclear power? Try summoning Alms' five stability ball exercises to achieve a fast, epic abs burnout.
Training for Advanced Stability Ball Abs.
Swiss Ball Superdog
Start on all fours and balance on the stability ball. Slowly extend the right arm forward and to the left to create a straight line from the heel to the fingertips, while maintaining a neutral spine. Return to the starting position and change sides.
Make 5 repetitions on each page.
Swiss Ball Push-ups
Start in push-up position with palms on the ball, shoulder width apart and feet back. in a raised plank. (Professional tip: Hold your fingers like a lizard to increase your balance.) Lower chest to ball, then push up. (Learn more about how to master Stability Ball push-up.)
Do 10 reps.
Swiss ball elbow to pike
Start in a plank position with the palms on the ground, shoulders over the hands and toes on the stability ball. Support your abdominal muscles, bring your knees into your chest as you curl the ball, and then roll back to the starting position. From there, the pikes jump into the sky and roll the ball in, keeping the legs upright. Roll out again to get to the starting position. This is 1 repetition.
Do 8 repetitions.
Ball of Switzerland as Passover
Start with the stability ball between your feet on the ground. Press to hold the ball while simultaneously lifting your chest and legs and grasping the ball with your hands. Stretch your arms over your head and stretch out your legs, letting all limbs float. Lift the chest and legs and bring the ball between your feet.
Do 10 repetitions.
Swiss Ball Balance Squats
Standing on stability ball with hip width apart. You can balance with your hands or a wall as needed. Keep your knees slightly bent, your chest raised and your eyes pointed forward. Lower yourself and press your heels to come to a halt.
Make 8 repeats
. Repeat the entire circuit 3-5 times.