Swiss Ball Exercise Dumbbell Bench Press

Swiss ball Dumbbell Exercises are a fantastic way to improve core strength while you’re doing what you would normally do anyway. By using dumbbells as free weights, and choosing the Swiss ball instead of a traditional bench, you activate more muscles as you do your weight training. Activating more muscle should burn more fat. Having a stronger core improves posture and just makes you look better. Always use a Swiss ball when you’re doing your dumbbell exercises.

The Swiss Ball Dumbbell Bench Press

Begin by selecting your dumbbells from the rack. Roll out into the starting position tightening or activating your abdominals and lower back so that you have a parallel line from your knees to your head. Together, your abdominals and lower back make up your core.

Your shoulders, head and neck should be on the Swiss ball, while your lower back and the rest of your body is being held in position by your core strength alone.

swiss ball exercise dumbbell bench press

Lower the dumbbells down to your chest and then slowly press them back up.

swiss ball exercise

You will have to engage your core to keep yourself stable.

Concentrate on tightening your core, not necessarily on the dumbbells. You may have to begin with a lighter weight to be able to do this for the first time. Your body will want to sway off the ball, and to counter this, you have to engage the core muscles. Keep your bum up and make sure you keep a straight line from the head to the knees.

Do 10 reps, no more.

If you get to 10 repetitions and you find that you can do more, keep going, but note that the ideal number is 10, so make a note of that in your exercise log and increase the weight just slightly to bring the number down to 10.

Do 2 Sets of 10 Repetitions with a 60 second rest in between and you’re done.

Caution: At any time, if anything goes wrong and you lose your stability, drop the weights. Use a spotter if required.

Dumbbell Exercises done on a Swiss Ball are very effective at creating the lean physique and tight core that you desire.

Swiss Ball Photo’s used with permission by Muscle and Strength


  1. My only concern is that using a swiss ball for free weight exercises is more dangerous. To what degree would you say that is true, assuming proper technique. Does it ever feel unsafe or like you will fall off? Also, does using a swiss ball reduce the weight you can lift? Again, considering the safety of using a swiss ball. Thanks!

  2. When on the swiss ball, you have to engage your core or you will roll off. That’s exactly what happens. By engaging your core, you are working IT as well as the actual muscle you’re working (in this case the chest).

    I pesonally would not say it’s more dangerous at all. if there’s ever a concern while doing the movement, simply drop the weights.

    Now, that said, when I was doing squats on the bosu (half swiss ball), I had to lower the weights just to get my form correct.

    and.. when I do dumbbell flyes, I do them kneeling on the ball, and yes, I had to lower the weight – but the up side was that I was a lot more strict in my form (or I’d roll off the ball).

    when doing dumbbell presses on the ball, I might feel like I’m going to fall off about 20% of the time. When I do, I engage my core more (crunch it) and I stabilize.

    begin with lighter weights until you see how your core is involved.

    My trainer says that in essence, you’re always working your core when you use the ball – it’s not about the chest press, or the flyes, or the squat – it’s about the “core”

  3. Hi Rob,

    Always good to see and hear people others out. Just wanted to say that I can understand the fear some have of rolling off the swissball when doing presses on it, as well as appreciating what you said on the utilization of the core to stabilize, and therefore getting more “bang for you buck.” Well, if this helps the “more than should be scared” out there I have my trusted swissball securely seated in the middle of a laid out rubber tyre to ensure that I’m stable, it works great, although I guess I’m sure things would be better your way.

    Thanks again and all the best.


  4. @Jonathan – that said, the purpose of the stability ball is to create “instability” though. Making it stable defeats the purpose.

    when the ball is “unstable”, our core then has to be engaged to make it a stable platform, and is why we train on the ball.

    stability balls and bosu’s are difficult at first because our core is often not engaged when we train. I found that I had to lower all my weights when I began. My trainer pointed out that the actual exercise we do on the ball is secondary, where our prime objective is exactly to engage the core and make it work. How much weight we’re lifting for the press, the rolls, the squats or what have you is irrelevant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *