Get yourself a Swiss ball. As a fitness tool, it’s as fundamental as a pair of dumb-bells, a good pair of running shoes, or a yoga mat. Any exercise performed on a Swiss ball immediately becomes more intense, engages more muscles and boosts overall fitness and balance levels. The reason is simple—the ball makes you unstable and you need to fight for balance, bringing into play smaller muscles that get overlooked during most workouts. It also activates your core, which is crucial for overall strength, balance and posture. And once you get used to it, a Swiss ball adds some fun to boring routines.
Swiss ball triangle push-up
This workout targets your triceps, chest and, of course, your core.
Place your palms on the floor and your shins on top of the ball and, maintaining balance, extend yourself into the push-up position. Now bring your palms close together, forming a triangle with the tips of your thumbs touching each other to form the base and the tips of your index fingers touching each other at the apex.
Lower your body until your chest nearly touches your hands as you inhale. Using your triceps and your chest muscles, press your upper body back up to starting position as you exhale.
Swiss ball jack knife
This works the obliques (the sides of your abdomen) and lower abdominal muscles.
Start by putting your palms on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart and shins on the ball. Once you are well-balanced in this position, pull your knees in towards your chest, bending at the hips, rolling the ball in until your knees are close to your chest. Push your legs back out, rolling the ball back to the starting position. This is one rep (repetition). Again, concentrate on engaging every muscle in your body throughout the movement to maintain balance.
Press your shins into the ball firmly to keep it under you.
Every fortnight, experts show you the perfect way to execute the most functional exercises that give your body the maximum benefit.
Coordinated by Rudraneil Sengupta.
Photographs by Priyanka Parashar/Mint
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