This morning I was at the gym working out (my “getting back into lifting shape” workout), and I saw somebody doing a bridge, which is a great workout exercise for your abs but which I do not have currently written into my workout. However, he was doing it on a swiss ball, which I had never seen before or even thought of doing. “What a great idea,” thought I, so I tried it.

To perform a (normal) bridge (also called a plank):

  1. Lay face down with your elbows under your shoulders.
  2. Lift your body up so that you are resting your weight on your elbows and toes, holding your body in a straight line from toe to shoulder.
  3. Suck in your gut.
  4. Feel the burn in your abs.

Count to 30 or so, and then relax. As you get better, you can go higher; if this is too difficult, then you do not need to start at a 30 count. You should count slowly, ideally on each second, but I personally rarely time myself. If you find it hard to count slowly, you could try counting mississippis as though you were playing touch football with a few friends. You know you are doing this correctly because your abs will really start to burn fairly quickly. If you can’t feel it, then you aren’t doing it right.

To do this on a swiss ball, you basically have the same mechanics except that your elbows are resting on a swiss ball instead of the ground. Then, not only do you have to hold yourself up, but you have to balance yourself as well. It was great. I think that next time I might try putting my toes on a bench and my forearms on the swiss ball and see how that works out. If you do not have very good balance and haven’t used a swiss ball much, then I don’t recommend doing that right off the bat because if you fall off you could really hurt yourself. I have never done it, but next week I will give it a try.

On a side note, I really should take some pictures of how to do these things so that I can post them up here. That would probably be benificial.