Video Fitness

Swiss Ball Exercises for Athletes (2 volume set)

Paul Chek

This is the tape set that is billed as the next level after Paul Chek’s Exercises for Better Abs, Buns and Backs

Volume 1 – Instruction

Just like the title says, this video is just detailed instruction of all the exercises that are done in the workout in Volume 2. He starts off with a 10 minute explanation of the science of Swiss Ball training and then goes into the specific exercises. For each exercise demonstrated there is an introductory and advanced version shown. The exercises demonstrated are the following:

  • Prone jackknife
  • Supine hip extension
  • Supine lateral roll
  • Prone ball roll
  • Prone hip and leg extension
  • Prone forward ball roll
  • Torso side flexion (advanced version shown with a partner but a wall could be substituted)
  • Supine low crawler (requires 2 Swiss balls)
  • Prone low crawler (requires 2 Swiss balls)
  • Hamstring curl (advanced version requires a cable machine OR tubing OR a partner)
Paul Chek does a good job of explaining the details to look for in each exercise but the woman actually demonstrating occasionally looks like she is having some difficulty with a few of the advanced exercises. The setting looks like a gym.

Volume 2 – Exercises

This is the video with the actual exercise routines. It starts with a stretching routine that lasts about 13 minutes. Many of the stretches are good but a few (like the quad stretch) just seem like they are made more awkward by trying to incorporate the ball into the stretch. After the stretching is the section called Active Warm-Up/Beginners. The idea is this will warm you up if you are advanced exerciser, or will be your actual workout if you are a beginner. This section incorporates the beginner version of all the exercises from the instruction tape and lasts about 15 minutes. The final section is the Advanced Workout, which uses the advanced versions of the exercises from the instruction tape. This section also lasts about 15 minutes. The setting is outdoors, alternating between a grassy area and a sandy beach. Paul leads the exercises and has 3 background exercisers on the lawn scenes (2 women, 1guy) and 1 female partner on the beach scenes.

I find this video too boring to do as a workout following the video, but I find it excellent to learn new ways of using my Swiss Ball. I have been doing Swiss Ball work for a couple of years and there is no doubt that the advanced exercises ARE challenging, but you could cheat at them if you don’t follow all the pointers. Paul also gives good tips- like keeping your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth to stabilize your neck. I find that I tend to use most tapes of this kind (abs tapes, yoga tapes) more as a jumping off point than as a follow along workout, so some people may like it as a follow along workout.

Lianne Raymond

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