Swiss Ball Rollout

How To Do A Swiss Ball Rollout
By Alli McKeeFebruary 19, 2016

Swiss Ball Rollout Exercise

The swiss ball rollout is a great exercise for strengthening the musculature of the anterior core. This anti-extension exercise has many different variations that range in difficulty.

Equipment needed:

A swiss ball is needed to perform this core stability exercise.

Ability level:


The swiss ball rollout exercise is a great option for beginners who are looking to improve their core stability. Beginners should start out by performing this exercise from their knees, and with their forearms on the ball. They should start out using a very small range of motion, and should only increase this range when they can perform 10 reps with good form.

Beginners might perform 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps from whatever range they are capable of using. Once beginners can perform 10 reps with good form, they can increase their range of motion, then can move on to more advanced variations of the swiss ball rollout.


Intermediate lifters who have mastered the swiss ball rollout can progress to more advanced variations of this exercise. Rather than placing the forearms on the ball and using a shorter range of motion, they can start with their hands on the ball and can roll right to their shoulders/upper arms. Intermediate lifters can also perform this exercise from the feet.

Women of an intermediate fitness level can do the swiss ball rollout as part of their warm-up, can perform it between sets of upper body exercises (I do not like to perform this or any other core stability exercise with heavy compound lower body exercises as I want the core to be fresh for these exercises). The swiss ball rollout can also be used in a conditioning circuit as a way to increase overall core stability work. This exercise can also be used in workouts that are done in de-load weeks, or during recovery workouts.


Advanced lifters can use the swiss ball rollout in their workout program the same ways as intermediate lifters.
 They can also perform this exercise with the feet elevated on a bench, can place additional resistance like chains on their mid back, or they can add band resistance.

Benefits of Swiss Ball Rollouts:

There are many benefits of the swiss ball rollout. How a woman chooses to use a swiss ball rollout is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, her reason for using the exercise, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general swiss ball rollout can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing core strength, particularly the anterior core
  • reducing the risk of injuries, particularly any that result from a weak anterior core and the subsequent pelvic and spinal stability
  • conditioning (if used as part of conditioning circuits)
  • convenient as it requires minimal equipment

How to perform a Swiss Ball Rollout:

  • Start with your forearms on the ball and your knees and lower legs on the floor.
  • Position your body so your torso is leaning forward a small amount, and your hips are pushed back. Be that your spine is in neutral alignment.
  • Before you roll forward, take a deep breath into your belly through your nose (360 degrees of air around the spine).
  • Right as you are about to roll forward, forcefully exhale, actively tuck your rib cage towards your hips (close the space in your midsection), contract the muscles around your trunk (including lats), squeeze your glutes, and slowly roll forward.
  • As you roll forward, gently squeeze your glutes and bring your hips forward, but do not allow your lower back to arch. If you feel yourself losing your form, stop rolling forward and return to the starting position.
  • Reset before each rep.
  • The whole purpose of this exercise is for you to maintain proper lumbo-pelvic stability and alignment, and muscular tension in your anterior core the entire time.
  • You should only feel your anterior core, and your lower back should not arch. In virtually all instances, if you think the exercise is too easy, you are not performing it correctly.

Video Transcription: 

The swiss ball rollout is a fantastic core stability exercise that can be modified for almost any level of ability. There are a few different variations.  The one I am going to show you starts on your knees and you are going to put your forearms on the ball. Now, the more firm the ball is the easier it is going to be because it is going to be more stable. This ball is a bit squishy, so we will see how this goes.

You are going to start with your forearms on the ball, lean forward slightly, hips are pushed back, and you are going to roll out and come back. Roll out and come back, again. You will notice that when I bring my hips forward I am not letting my core sag. The other thing is I can stop rolling out whenever I feel myself losing my form. If I'm here and I roll out to here and I start to lose my form I can stop and bring it back in. You can shorten your range of motion based on what you form looks like. If you want it to be more challenging, you can put your hands on the ball and roll out that way. That allows you to increase the range of motion and makes things a little bit more difficult.



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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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