Endurance Core Exercises for a Swiss Ball Pike

Performing a Swiss ball pike takes core strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. Training with the right exercises is key to develop endurance with this move. Key elements are strengthening muscles of the core, shoulders, and chest; increasing flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back and developing the stamina and strength to hold the position for an extended time.

Swiss Ball Plank

Perform with the ball against a wall (more stable) or free standing (less stable). Place hands to the outside of the ball and hold a pushup position with arms slightly bent. Keep abdominals pulled tight and back straight. Hold for 30-seconds to 2-minutes; aim to increase hold time by 10-15 seconds each session.

Pike Pushup

Place your feet on a bench or box with hands on the floor in pushup position. Walk hands toward the bench, until you are in a pike position. Arms are now positioned overhead, similar to a modified handstand. Perform a pushup, bending your elbows and maintaining a tight core. Repeat 8-15 reps; increase reps as you get stronger.

This move strengthens your upper body while focusing on core stability and endurance, as it mimics a pike in a more stable environment focusing on strengthening the core, shoulders, and chest.

Swiss Ball Jackknife

Start with shins on ball and hands in pushup position on floor. Keeping core tight, bring knees in toward the chest, rolling ball forward. Repeat 10-15 reps. To increase the challenge, start with your toes on the ball, instead of your shins.

This is a similar move to the Swiss Ball Pike, as it is performed from the same starting point. Practicing this simpler move will improve your core strength in a prone, unstable position.

V-sit Rocker

Sit on your derriere, lean back, and lift legs about 12 inches off the floor. Cross arms over chest, and rock slowly forward and backward, maintaining a C-shape you’re your core. Use your abdominals to propel the body and maintain control. Keep feet and shoulders off the floor. Repeat 10-15 reps.

The focus is on enclosing the abdomen in an isometric/active move, engaging your rectus abdominus (6-pack) and your internal/external obliques. Your quads are required to stay isometrically engaged which mimics the hold portion of the pike.

About this Author

Based in Bethesda, Md., Monica Niska has shared her passion for fitness by writing wellness-related articles and inspirational stories since 2008. She is a certified personal trainer, health fitness specialist and corrective exercise specialist. Niska holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from the University of Delaware.