The Swiss Ball, also known as a stability ball, Pilates ball and yoga ball, was developed in 1963 by Aquilino Cosani, an Italian plastics manufacturer.  It is an inflatable ball available in various sizes, 55cm/65cm/75cm, for people of different heights.  

Its original sole purpose was to aid gymnastic exercise. Within a decade of his creation, Cosani's invention was being used by physical therapists across Europe for a range of different applications, from cerebral palsy to spinal injuries.

The Swiss Ball provides numerous other benefits that range anywhere from rehabilitating back, hip and knee injuries to delivering a powerful workout to improve core stability, posture and muscle balance.

Swiss Ball
Since the Swiss Ball is unstable, you have to constantly adjust your balance

Since the Swiss Ball is unstable, you have to constantly adjust your balance which in turn will improve proprioception and balance. As an extra challenge, you can use the Swiss Ball as a bench, using free weights to target those hard to reach stabiliser muscles.

You can also improve your flexibility and cardiovascular system by incorporating it into a structured workout.

The Swiss Ball is a versatile piece of exercise equipment available to help people with back pain. In particular, many exercise ball programmes are designed to bring movement to the spine in a controlled manner to help keep discs nourished.

In summary, the benefits of the Swiss Ball include:

  • Great abs
  • Muscle strength and endurance
  • Core stability 
  • Improved flexibility
  • Great for losing weight.
 Swiss Ball
A Swiss Ball Backbend Stretch

My Top 5 Stability Ball Exercises are: 

  1. Swiss Ball Backbend Stretch
  2. Swiss Ball Push-ups
  3. Swiss Ball Plank
  4. Swiss Ball Ab Crunch
  5. Swiss Ball Knee Tuck

Kieran Keenan is an advanced personal trainer and the owner of Fitsquad.