The Swiss ball crunch increases muscular strength and endurance throughout the core region including the lower abdominals, lower back, and hip flexors. Performing the exercise on the Swiss ball will also increase balance and stability. Adding the Swiss ball has two main benefits. First it improves the range of motion on extension (the lower of the crunch), which build abdominal strength. It also positions the body in a way that tends to place less stress on the upper and lower back.
Step by step instructions
Lie back on a Swiss ball with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your head. The ball should be under your hips and lower back. This is your starting position.
Crunch your torso toward your knees, raising your chest upward. Stop when the middle of your back loses contact with the ball. Pause, then return to starting position.
Mistakes and Tips
- Avoid neck strain by touching your head very lightly.
- Do not sit too low on the ball. Your abs should be stretched in the down position and fully contracted at the top.
- Begin each rep with your abs stretched.