Skip to main content

How to Do a Swiss Ball Stabilizing Exercise for Back Pain

Learn how to do a Swiss Ball stabilizing exercise from physical therapist Eric Sampson in this Howcast video.


Alright, I wanna spend some time now talking about some great exercises that are often used in the clinic using the stability ball, or the swiss ball, or the exercise balls. The names interchange, but the idea of the ball is much higher-level, advanced exercises. A lot of these exercises can be done on the floor, but by using the ball, you are being forced to use some muscles that, maybe, you wouldn't be using on the floor, simply because there's a balance component on the ball and it's really great for strengthening your core and strengthening your back. I just wanna sample just a couple of them right now.

The first one is called a roll out, so if the ball is a little bit a further away to start, have your elbows down on the ball, a little bit lower here, and what you would do is just roll the ball forward a few inches, and then you kind of come back, back in here. You may have seen this before decades ago, or even longer than that, called the wheel. It's something that they did on the floor, but this is a lot safer. You're higher up off the ground and a lot less challenging. And again, by doing it on a ball like this, you're being forced to use your core muscles, but also, a lot of the balance muscles in your core, those little receptors in there, that you wouldn't get on the floor.

The second one is going to be up and sitting, so you're going to come up and sit on the ball. And then from here, you're going to just walk yourself all the way forward, and you're going to keep going until your neck and your shoulders are on the ball, and then you're going to lift your pelvis up. This is a big back exercise, big back strengthener. She's being forced to use her glutes and her back a lot to hold the pose. Design is to look like a tabletop or a bridge. And the idea with this is to do a sustained exercise of 20, 30 seconds, until there is some fatigue in the back, and you would kind of walk it back up. Good.

The third one is going to be where your belly is on the ball, right? And we're going to do something, again, similar to what you can do on the floor, but by using the ball, you're being forced to use some balance muscles. So, in this position, you can try to lift up your arm and opposite leg. Good. It's called the swimmer, but on the ball. Alright, you would hold it for a few seconds, then bring it down, and then switch to the other side. Great balance exercise on the ball and being forced to use your glutes, your back, and obviously, when you're arm lifting, your scapular as well. So, you have the swimmer on the ball.

Popular Categories