I'm in love with my swiss ball I have all sorts of routines going. In the summer I use it in the garden and have a glorified circuit going. Our picnic bench doubles as a dip bench, walls are great for wall sits you'll be amazed to know and benches rock for hamstring stretches. But without doubt a yoga matt and a swiss ball could just about cover all stretches and strengthening postures.
The guys at sports injury clinic seem to have a great website with some solid examples of exercises for all basic muscle groups.I've been using that as the basis of my routines and then adding some other beauties along the way for a bit of variety.
So if you fancy it get a ball but get the right size, had one too small for ages and it was a hindrance. There all available at amazon. Below is a size guide.
|YOUR HEIGHT||BALL HEIGHT||BALL SIZE|
|4’8” to 5’5” (140 – 165cm)||22 inches (55cm)||Medium|
|5’5” to 6’0” (165 – 185cm)||26 inches (65cm)||Large|
|6’0” to 6’5” (185 – 195cm)||30 inches (75cm)||Extra Large|
Whilst its easy to find free and good routines on the net for swiss balls, what I've found is that when my back hurts, there are two great stretches I can do on my ball, that really alleviate pressure in the lower lumber.
The top back bend cretes space at the front of the lower lumber so its ideal if you've been surfing too much as it is the reverse stretch of paddling.
The forward lean I adapt so that my knees are on the ground too, so your body is curved over like a "C" shape. This creates space at the rear of the lower lumber, if you've had any compressions in your spine, this exercise will work at promoting space between the vertebrae.