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Using Swiss Ball Exercises In Your Fitness Program

The Swiss Ball was actually developed by an Italian plastics manufacturer. It is an inflated, elastic ball available in several sizes from 14 to 34 inches in diameter.

The Swiss Ball can be used for a wide variety of exercises by people of all ages and fitness levels. This is also useful for women to improve muscle tone and body shape.

The ball has been use for physical therapy in Switzerland for all ages, infants through the elderly, thus the name "Swiss Ball."

The low-impact exercises are performed for every part of the body. A Swiss Ball can be used to augment a fitness regimen, but a full body workout may be performed using only the ball.

A Swill Ball routine typically uses the elasticity of the ball to provide some impetuous for each of the moves.

This bounce or jump-start, lessens the impact of exercising on the frame of the user, and still allows for a full range of movement through a number of exercises.

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Basic exercises performed with the Swiss Ball Upper Body

* Wall Push-up - works the triceps and shoulders by placing the ball against a wall at shoulder height, move the feet about three feet (more for greater resistance) away from the wall. Place both hands on the ball and slowly complete a push-up.

* Push-up - works the triceps, chest and shoulders by the user elevating their feet by placing them on the ball while in a prone position, placing hands at shoulder width and completing a push-up.

* Reverse Push-up - feet on the floor, hands on the ball. Lower resistance, but effective on triceps from controlling the movement of the ball.

* Triceps Exercise Dips - with the ball behind a user seated on the floor, place hands on top of ball and keep the legs straight for greater resistance, or bent for lower, perform a triceps press-up.

Lower Body

* Swiss Ball Squat - with the ball against the wall and feet about three feet away, place back against the ball and squat down while rolling the ball with the back.

* Single Leg Ball Squat - using only one leg.

* Swiss Ball Lunge - using the same position as the squat, but perform a lunge while keeping the back tight against the ball.

* Ball Bridge - seated with the ball at back, bridge midsection upwards while keeping the shoulders on the ball, rolling the ball to maintain balance and form.

* Reverse Ball Bridge - feet on the ball, shoulders on the ground.

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* Hamstring Curl - same position as Reverse Bridge, but roll t he ball towards the body with the feet bending the legs, while bridging.

* Ball Crunch - seated in a chair position with the buttocks on top of the ball, perform an abdominal crunch, rolling the ball forward with the move.

* Roll-Away - using the ball like an ab-roller.

* Side Crunch, Back Extension - using the ball for support for these moves.

*Jackknife - knees on top of the ball, hands on ground (as in the push-up), bend the body, drawing the ball towards the feet.

* Ball Rotation - lie flat on back gripping the ball between the ankles. Raise legs straight overhead and rotate to ball clockwise and counter clockwise.

More elaborate exercises may be developed by the user as they become more familiar with the concept of working with the ball.

Exercises that are normally performed while seated on a bench or the floor, may be incorporated into a Swiss Ball routine.

The movement of the ball assists in conditioning parts of the muscles that don't get worked while on a bench or seated in an exercise machine.

I hope that this information has been of value to you.

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