Swiss Ball Rollouts are one of the most useful exercises for developing core stability and improving athletic performance. This exercise is an excellent way to improve your ability to efficiently transfer force from your upper body to your lower body. It also helps to improve your efficiency in normal athletic movements such as running, swinging or jumping. And lastly, The swiss ball roll out is a simple exercise to perform properly. Just stay tall, keep your hips forward and apply force into the ball to roll in and out while maintaining a nice rigid position.
Once you’ve progressed to increasing the number of repetitions or time in between repetitions you begin to wonder how else you can up the ante. While some might suggest progressing to other core stability exercises such as the bar rollouts or the ab wheel. I personally find these exercises to be too polarizing when working in group settings. It’s common for me to see people completely butchering the ab wheel or bar rollout due to inadequate upper body strength, core strength and improper positioning. Therefore if we want to improve our ability to transfer force from our upper body to our lower body through the use of swiss ball rollouts there are other ways to increase the load, intensity or resistance without extending exercise time or progressing to another exercise tool. It’s simple. Add weight! Increase the resistance by putting on a weight vest. For those unfamiliar with how the swiss ball rollout challenges the core here’s a quick biomechanics lesson:
While you lean over the swiss ball with your hips forward, glutes tight, and abdomen braced you initiate movement by applying downward force through your extended arms. Remember Newton and his third law? Well it tells us that the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite. So the downward force you’re placing on that ball is being directed right back into your hand in the opposite direction. In order for you not to fold up like a lawn chair or fall into extension you must extend through your shoulders and stabilize through your spine by producing a flexion (opposite of extension) force. This is why you (should) feel this exercise in your arms and abdomen. Adding a resistance such as the weight vest helps to add the force being applied into the ball and therefore increases the force you have to resist against going into extension by flexing or stabilizing against a fixed object like the swiss ball.
In other words, if you’re looking for a way to challenge your core within the sagittal plane just grab a swiss ball put on a weight vest and roll out. But don’t take my word for it. Try it out.