‘A fun and social way to increase muscle tone’
What is the advantage of doing exercises on a Swiss or fit ball as opposed to a normal bench? A Unlike a bench that is stable, a Swiss or fit ball provides an unstable surface, which requires your body to switch on more stabilising muscles to prevent it from slipping and moving from underneath you.
Using a Swiss ball stimulates the deeper muscles of the core (both abdominals and lower back), strengthening them while contributing to improved posture and balance as well. I started running a few months ago, but my left knee cap has started to hurt when I do this, as well as when I walk down stairs. Should I stop running? A Maybe for a short amount of time.
You may be developing patellofemoral pain syndrome (kneecap pain). The main factor contributing to this is usually excessive knee joint pressure from poor alignment of the kneecap, due to muscle imbalances and/or incorrect technique. Treat by resting and icing the inflamed joint along with specific exercises to help correct the muscle imbalances. I also suggest seeing a physio for a correct diagnosis.
How can I get shapely calves? A There are two muscles that make up the calf – the gastrocnemius (big bulgy muscle) and the soleus (smaller deeper muscle), which is why a mix of exercises help with toning. Start with 3 x 30-second rounds of skipping followed by 2 sets of 15 reps of the following exercises before building to 5 x 1-minute rounds and 3 sets of the exercises: »Calf
on one leg from left to right.
‘using a swiss ball stimulates the deeper muscles of the core’