Swiss ball pike crunch!
This ab exercise is an advanced stability ball move that strengthens your core, abs and arms.
While it may look easy to perform, it is extremely demanding to your core and requires balance, stability, and strength as well as flexibility.
Because this exercise engages all aspects of your abs, it is considered a multi-muscle exercise.
If you are not familiar with this exercise, breaking its movements down will give you a better idea of what this workout movements consist of.
Though pike movement is performed rather fluidly, its base move is plank or more specifically, modified plank with feet on the ball. This static planking position is where the exercise begins.
In this static, hold position, your entire core and ab muscles are fully engaged to maintain the body alignment and balance.
It is the simplest part of the exercise but can easily the hardest part due to the high demand placed on its core.
The next movement is best understood as "the opposite crunch", where you are pulling your feet inward to form an up side down V. It is truly an advanced move as it is just as dynamic as it is static.
There is the motion of bringing the feet in, but your torso is required to maintain the stillness as its job is to maintain the body alignment and provide the support for the lower body's dynamic motion.
Simply put, Swiss ball pike crunch orchestrates the engagement of multiple muscles that go beyond abs and core.
Your glutes, hips, shoulders and arms are just few other key muscles that play a role in performing this simple, yet difficult ball exercise.
Because it's a challenging exercise, we highly urge beginners to build basic core strength before performing on this ball pike.
Science Backed Ab Exercise
Swiss ball pike's effectiveness is also well documented in recent research.
A study presented by Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy evaluated the effectiveness of Pike Crunch performed on an exercise ball and reported it was amongst the best.
The study monitored and compared 8 Swiss ball abdominal exercises (roll-out, pike, knee-up, skier, hip extension right, hip extension left, decline push-up, and sitting march right) and 2 traditional abdominal exercises (crunch and bent-knee sit-up) on their muscle activations.
Amongst all "10 ab exercises", Swiss Ball Pike Crunch and Swiss Ball Roll-out ranked highest in working the core muscles.
How to do it:
Before you begin, make sure you have the right size exercise ball and enough air is in the ball.
- Start in push-up position with the tops of your feet resting on an exercise ball.
- Tighten your abs and pull your feet toward you, so that the ball is near your chest. Your hips should be bent and pointed toward the ceiling. Hold for 2 seconds and slowly roll the ball back to the starting position.
- How to determine the quality of a Swiss Ball?