Babies, Bathwater, and Swiss Balls

Getting “set in our ways” is an easy path and one that limits our potential. Fortunately, over the past 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure of changing my mind about a great many things in the fitness industry.

The lesson for this week is to let effectiveness, and fun, be our guide to long-term success when it comes to training. Let’s always be open to new ideas. Most of them will be garbage and should be ignored after an evaluation. Occasionally though, we make a mistake, and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

ENTER THE SWISS BALLMax hug swiss ball
In the case of the swiss ball, I let the stigma steer me away from using it entirely. Because I had seen swiss balls so poorly misused, like this, I disregarded the fact that they might have some benefit. HUGE MISTAKE! It’s better to try something and give it a thorough evaluation than to make a snap judgement with no basis in reality.

As I’ve said many times in the past, the tool itself is not important, it is about the application–and the knowledge behind it. This is an important lesson to remember as you progress in your fitness journey whether you are a fitness professional or just exercising for your own well being.

Dear Swiss ball, I apologize for doubting you. And for ridiculing you. All the cool kids were doing it. I’m sorry.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite Swiss ball exercises (and a video to demo a few):

1) Use a Swiss ball instead of a chair
2) Leg Curls and bridges (one of the better options for lighting up the glutes and hamstrings)
3) Neck Bridges (FAR superior to the floor variation)
4) Handstand pike press practice
5) Banded Swiss Ball Twists (awesome core exercise)
6) Stir the Pot (one of the greatest core exercises ever)
7) Push-Ups (not better or worse than push-ups on rings, but uniquely beneficial due to the instability)

I know that I will continue to change my mind as time goes on–only a stale mind stays the same forever. Embrace change for the better, even if it appears strange at first. This is definitely not an easy thing to do, and it takes diligent practice, but life is a hell of a lot more fun and rewarding if you are adaptable.

How many people have made this very same mistake? Maybe with Kettlebells? Barbells? Yoga? Pilates? What other things have you changed your mind on?

Better Every Day,

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