So much of triathlon training is myth’s and fallacies mixed with slivers of truth. One of the major trends or sliver’s of truth is the use of the physio ball or swiss ball. Today’s personal trainers would have you believe that it is the silver bullet to the next level in your training. If you do “the ball workout,” your performance will go through the roof.
Well, I have some unfortunate news. The swiss ball does assist in the development of core strength, but it is a learned event. What do you mean by that you might ask? Well, once you have consistently completed exercises properly on the ball, your body will adapt to the stimulus and learn how to repeat the action without further development. In essence, you are doing lots of work to look cool, but it does not have any benefit to you on the bike, the run, or the swim.
Just don t accept my word; Paul Rogers, the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Australian National Sprint Cycling Team, posted an article on the Supertraining blog mentioning this very concept. The ball is a learned event and does not improve performance. It worth your time to read the post, it will talk about the scientific ways to develop speed on the bike. Secondly, I have found through my own experience that this is true. The ball exercises that I mastered 5-6 years ago, I am able to complete today and I have not done them for 2-3 years.
In conclusion, take the time to research and develop your triathlon training program without the swiss ball, you will gain more benefit with less work over the entirety of your program.