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Blog Improve Core Strength & Stability with Swiss Ball Mountain Climbers


Improve Core Strength & Stability with Swiss Ball Mountain Climbers

  • by Michelle
  • January 26, 2012

A question I get on a daily basis is “what is your favourite ab exercise?”  My answer to this questions is always “there are too many to choose from, but I prefer exercises that give me the most bang for my buck”, meaning I like exercises that work more than one body part at a time.  The exercise I’m going to discuss today does just that!


Introducing Swiss Ball Mountain Climbers:

Where does it Work? 

The criss cross pattern triggers the small muscles that stabilize the back called the multfidi, the deepest corset-like abdominal muscle, the TVA, as well as the muscles that make the torso twist, the obliques.  If you perform the most challenging version of this exercise with your hands on the ball (instead of forearms) the shoulder stabilizers are also targeted, especially when one knee lifts off the floor, placing more stress on those stabilizers.

Here’s how you Do it Properly:

1.  Begin with forearms on the ball and toes on the floor; to make it more difficult place your hands on the ball with arms straight and toes on the floor (push up-like position).  The body should appear to be in a straight line from your neck to your ankles.

2.  Raise your right foot off the floor and slowly bring your right knee up towards your left elbow and return back to the floor, that’s one rep.  Next raise your left knee up towards your right elbow and continue to alternate until you’ve done 10-12 reps.


Form Check:

  • Be sure to maintain that straight line from neck to ankles throughout the entire exercise and avoid “caving” of your lower back or shoulder blades.
  • Do not hold your breath! Squeeze your abdominal muscles and if done correctly you will feel your lower abs engaged and will be breathing easily and calmly
  • STOP THE EXERCISE IF: you feel pain in your lower back or shoulders, or you feel the exercise more in your upper abdominals than lower abdominals.
  • If you find you are not able to hold the body stable, begin by placing the ball in a corner or up against the wall to reduce the degree of instability.

 Here is a video of how to perform a mountain climber on a bench, which is an easier version of swiss ball mountain climbers.


Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com or visit www.CORE-Condition.com for more information about more of my favourite exercises!


Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES