Swiss balls

Anyone using a Swiss ball? I've searched the sight for info but no hits. I'd like to know if they take a lot of perseverance or are they quite straight forward, especially used with weights.


  • Joe, I use a Swiss Ball with a training/Medecine and whilst I can't say that it's definitely beneficial, what I can say is that it definitely adds variety to a weekly training schedule. If you're a dediciated, coimmitted runner it may not be of any benefit, but as a multi-sported person, it's good fun. I also have a copy of 'Strength Ball Training' which is a very good book, with nice photos showing 69 exercises for all round body workouts.
  • I use a swiss ball regularly for (free) weight training - in preference to a bench whereever I can. Sitting for dumbbell curls & extensions and lying for pullovers are some examples. I also use it for ab work - I do both horizontal and reverse-incline crunches using a swiss ball (you need to be able to anchor your feet for reverse-incline work).

    Swiss balls add an extra dimension to weight work - you exercise stabilising muscle groups in addition to the ones you're actually targeting. Things like varying your foot position can increase or decrease the work your muscles do for stability.

    Most balls will come with an instruction leaflet - my Adidas one did. Note that it's important to choose the right diameter ball for your height.

    Obviously I'm one of those who combine weight training with my running. (:
  • Oh, and yes, at first they take a while to get used to (cause you won't be used to exercising that balance I was talking about), but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
  • Thanks Ax that's exactly what I was looking for, but just one more thing if you don't mind, can you inflate/deflate as you need it?
  • Maybe someone should ask SwissBobby?
    Just a thought . . .
  • I got mine from and it came with a pump and a leaflet. It's easy enough to inflate/deflate and has a second plug thing incase you lose the first or have a small child who puts it up his nose etc. A friend in the know says Physique have a good video introduction too, but I never got it and can't now recall which one he rated...

    I got it primarily because it's increasingly the thing being recommended by physios, osteos etc and being a trainee osteopath myself, I wanted to practice what I will (hopefully) one day be preaching. I find it easy to use and it has the benefit of combining core training with specific muscle strengthening/stretching. Some people find it hard to use for this reason but it's worth persevering with.
  • I pumped mine up with a foot-pump. A bicicle pump would take a little longer, but works just as well. A swiss ball is like a big balloon. Just somewhat sturdier.

    You probably don't want to inflate/deflate too often, as they take a while to blow up! I keep mine in the spare room when not in use (and so visiting mini-terrors can't purloin and bounce it off breakable items).

    By the way, got mine from Argos for 10 quid. Reebok call it a "Gymball".
  • In reply to Mungus: swiss balls are common in gyms all over NZ, but they don't seem to be as popular here yet.

    I've noticed for most people it's only difficult till you get used to it - it doesn't take long for the appropriate muscle groups to get into gear.
  • As Ax says, it needs to be stored away unless you want the added bonus training of chasing the kids around the house to get it back before they damage something. It's also useful for laughing at friends who can "do that easily" as they roll head first into the wall!
  • Got one today from Argos, a bargain at a tenner. Pumped it up with my track-pump (think I will just leave it inflated) not tried it fully but it seems straightforward. Thanks for your help...
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