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Thread: Is a swiss ball an acceptable alternative to a bench? page

  1. #1
    barehard's Avatar
    barehard Guest


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    I'm building a home gym to save money. I've got my pullup bar sorted and I'm about to purchase a barbell/dumbell set. My workouts centre around squats, deadlifts and pullups but I like to do some dumbell bench presses etc. Can I get away with using a swiss ball or shall I just splash out on a bench? My motives are space saving as well as financial.

  2. #2
    arthurb999's Avatar
    arthurb999 is offline Senior Member
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    Jul 2009
    RI, USA


    It would be ok for dumbells but not a barbell.

    It's differnt ... the ball forces you to use core muscles and laying on a flat bench doesn't... not better or worse... just different.

  3. #3
    midwestgrokette's Avatar
    midwestgrokette Guest


    As arthurb said, with a swiss ball you are going to use core muscles more and therefore, probably won't be able to lift as heavy. With a bench, you will be able to lift heavier and will probably be more versatile if you want to switch up your workout in the future.

  4. #4
    barehard's Avatar
    barehard Guest


    Cheers guys.

  5. #5
    danny.v.ramos's Avatar
    danny.v.ramos is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2010


    Get a really good ball, donít buy the cheap stuff. I have burst plenty of balls in my day doing stupid stuff. But I have also had a 280 pound athlete benching 120# dumbbells on a good ball with no issues.

    One benefit of the ball for pressing that nobody seems to ever think of is the fact that the scapula gets immobilized by the bench when you lie on it.

    Humeral movement + incorrect or no existent scapular movement=shoulder injuries

    Another thing people forget is that the glutes are part of the core and stability ball presses really challenge your glutes as stabilizers if you keep your hips up, which has amazing benefits for general joint health and performance.

    These are the best balls I have used.

    Also donít discount the push up as a strength builder. Most people I teach to do push ups correctly, keeping the spine straight and not letting any part of the body but the chest, hands and toes touch the floor , can barely do a handful at first. Ad weight on your back and you have an amazing chest exercise. My personal favorite is adding weight with a sand bag on my back, but I have done sets of five with 3 45# plates on my back. And my son is also great resistance for higher rep sets : )

    BTW- Straight spine means you donít stick you chin forward. You tuck it in and keep the cervical spine straight. This is not only safer for your spine but tends to keep you from shrugging your scapula up when you descend when it should be retracting back and in. Refer to above formula.

    Hope this helps.


  6. #6
    PMAC's Avatar
    PMAC is offline Member
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    May 2009
    South Carolina


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    If you are on a budget go to CRAIGS List. I've got about $2000 worth of equipment for about $450

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