SWISS BALL TRAINING FOR SEDENTARY WORKERS
WORKOUT FOR DESK JOB HOLDERS THAT MAY NOT STRESS WRISTS?
AN OLDER RESEARCH STUDY ARTICLE “Effects of Swiss-Ball Core Strength Training…” provides images and an exercise protocol that demonstrate 7 moves on a Swiss/stability ball which were designed to help previously sedentary adult women build muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility, as well as dynamic balance, of the core and lower body.
Muscles that were strengthened included:
Muscular endurance was improved in the trunk/lower back extensors, trunk/abdominal flexors, and lower leg, and overall dynamic balance was better.
The 21 women who volunteered to participate in the scientific study, published in 2010, averaged 34 year of age and 64kg in weight, were not regular exercisers, and had never trained using this equipment. The women held sedentary administrative staff positions at a university in Turkey. They were required to train with the Swiss ball protocol for 45 minutes, 3 days per week, for 8 weeks. Warm-up and cool-down periods were included that involved walking and stretching sessions.
The study investigators from Australia and Turkey reported that “results support the fact that Swiss-ball core strength training exercises can be used to provide improvement” in strength, endurance, and flexibility of trunk/lower back/abdominal and lower limb muscles and in dynamic balance in women who do not regularly train.
The images and protocol seem to be ‘wrist -friendly’. I am always on the lookout for routines that are affordable (no gym membership or expensive equipment required) and easy to move through for persons who have wrist issues or have had carpal-tunnel or hand surgery. Those of us who have had desk jobs have often performed them for hours while tapping on keyboards.
I don’t have wrist/hand problems and cannot fully review the workout from this perspective. However, perhaps someone else can comment on the ease of its performance for those with wrist disabilities or offer advice on an approach to performing the specific protocol moves that pose a challenge. It’s possible that anexercise move is easy, but getting into position or onto the the floor is not.
A warning that the authors make which bears repeating here is about safety. The Swiss ball is inherently unstable and poses a risk of falling and injury for some. Exercisers are encouraged to take precautions and to “follow a progressive training system for the adaptation of the stabilizing core musculature”. Every never-before-performed exercise can be unsafe, though, so best be careful trying new routines in general.
My take, as an active person, is that Swiss balls are effective for building core strength regardless of experience level. The wall-squat, shoulder bridge, back extension, and hamstring curl exercises have served as components of my running strength training for years.
If you like video demonstrations the team of “most famous” Physical Therapists, Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck, model 15 Swiss Ball exercises with lots of added commentary.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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