Swiss ball class + running = a world of pain!

It was raining yesterday so I went to a Swiss Ball class instead. I hadn't done this before, and it was odd, to say the least. I felt quite smug when the Mistress Of Pain said it was time to turn our attention to our legs - with running, I thought my leg muscles would be okay at least. Ha! How wrong can you be? All my muscles quivered in anguish, even the running ones!

It turns out that I have no core muscles. This class should strengthen them, if I live long enough. I am shuffling round today, bent over because my stomach muscles ache a lot, and trying not to bend too far because my back muscles ache as well :D

I went up to the gym after it was over and tackled the treadmill, or dreadmill as someone on here rightly christened it. I managed a warm up walk, then a whole 5 minutes of running, and then sagged for a further 5 minutes of cool-down. I wasn't out of breath but I couldn't do any more 'cos I was totally cream-crackered!

I thought my fitness was vastly improved since starting this c25k lark - but just three-quarters of an hour of fighting a space-hopper without ears has proved that I can probably improve in other areas as well! Here's hoping I can get out for a nice, restful 5k tomorrow :D


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  • I found that too when I started with my foam roller. Leaning on my elbows on the floor, rollering up and down on my quads, agony on the legs the first time and next day my stomach muscles were agony too... the first ten times were the worst! :-D

    Hope you enjoy your run! Isn't it amazing we can think words like 'nice' restful' and '5K run' in the same sentence! :-)

  • So what you're telling me, Mitts, is that it shouldn't hurt after mid-May? Aaargh :D

    Yes, it's amazing what you get used to and comfortable with! If I think back to last April, when I started c25k and couldn't run for 60 seconds, it does give me hope and it makes me realise how far I have come - literally :)

  • I was rollering two or three times a day at that point... the pain only lasted a few days. Now it's almost enjoyable... almost. :-P

    I have a ball in the attic too, bought it for my bad back a couple of years ago. Must get it down, it's not doing much for my core muscles up there. :-)

  • What kind of balls are you talking here Annie?

    Or, put another way, what is a Swiss ball and if it improves your core, should I be looking for one instead of returning to yoga?

  • Heh heh... very, very large ones, Fingalo :D

    I find this chap quite inspiring

    but you might prefer this lady perhaps

    I dithered between a yoga class, a pilates class and the swiss ball class but it just came down to availability and cost in the end. I think pilates works on your core muscles as well. I wanted to do yoga for flexibility and bendiness, things I have lost in later life, but for me, the swiss ball class is included in my gym membership and happens at a convenient time.

    There's certainly no meditating or thinking calm thoughts in my class. There's some creative swearing (me) and a lot of giggling (everyone else as my backside hits the floor again) plus some loud encouragement from the Mistress Of Pain. It's not a very active class to watch - the movements are quite small and concentrated, but by heck my muscles know they've had a work out.

    They don't cost much, so if there isn't a class you could buy one and do it yourself, perhaps. Enjoy!

  • Jaysus!

    I thought "using a ball, how tough or difficult can it be"? Having now had a look at that video, I've reconsidered but have come up with my own method of using it to improve my running.

    All I'll do is watch it before I go out and in comparison, the run will seem a piece of cake!

  • sounds like fun :) I like your description of the teacher hehe. made me lol. X

  • Erm... fun... yeah, I suppose it is, really :)

  • had a look at my gym & they have a class called "on the ball". perhaps the same type of thing? will have to give it a go. thanks for sharing the experience.

  • I hope you enjoy it! Report back - but if you find it easy, please don't tell me :D

  • Love your method! Funnily enough, I thought it would be a nice, gentle class. I'm going to keep going with it, but see my runs as relaxation :D

  • I did this on Wednesday and still aching! I found it also made my arms ache. It's so much toughter than it looks, but I'm going to persevere and go every week in the hope that it gives me a stronger core etc.

    Are you going to do it again? It makes running 5k seem a breeze!

  • Thank heavens it's not just me! You're absolutely right, it is so much tougher than it looks! Yes, I'll carry on. It must be doing me good :) Do you think it will help the running at all, or will it just give us a stronger core?

    I'll think of you on Wednesday!

  • :-) Well done!! I didn't know what a Swiss ball was either!!! When I had my youngest child 14 years ago, the nurse brought one if these balls in during labor for me to bounce around on. ;-( Didn't happen! ;-) I'm sure you are so much fitter then before, you are just working different muscle groups. Wishing you the very best!! Gayle

  • How odd! Was it supposed to bounce the baby out? :D

    It will be good, I know. At the moment I am wondering how I am even gonna walk tomorrow, let alone go for a run! Hopefully my leg muscles will loosen up when I start the warm-up walk, but I might start off with a few gentle stretches to get everything going. Thanks for your good wishes :)

  • :-) Give a pregnant, in labor, lady a bouncy ball to play with?? Yeah, right!!! Maybe it WAS to bounce the baby out!!! ;-) Next class, imagine your belly as big as the ball and maybe it will distract you from the pain of the exercise!

  • Well Annie, if nothing else, this thread really made me laugh! My daughter got given a 'spacehopper without ears' for Christmas, so I had a play with it, and even sat on it instead of a chair for a couple of days (I spend far too many hours on the laptop, pretty much immobile).

    But I didn't do anything very organised with it, and then the novelty wore off. I wasn't really clear how it does anything significantly different from exercises you can do without any equipment at all. Though I can see that a class might be fun (or not!) It's still rollling round in the next room. Maybe I should try again, while I watch the man on the sand!

  • I found the man on the sand quite inspirational, greenlegs ;) I'm not very good at doing exercise on my own - in fact, c25k is the only thing I have ever stuck to, so although I know I could do all these exercises at home, and indeed others that don't need a spacehopper, I need the discipline of being encouraged by a shouty person :D I really don't fancy aerobics or zumba, I hate the gym, and I have a bad back and neck if I'm not careful, so I like the gentle support that this ball gives me. Apparently just sitting on it at the computer will help your core strength, so perhaps that's enough? Or perhaps you actually have core muscles anyway, unlike me :D

  • Not much core going on here!

  • At least it made you laugh - that's always good!

  • > I found the man on the sand quite inspirational,

    Me too! ;-) I've got am exercise ball in the house (one son uses it sometimes to sit on at his computer) and am going to give the video a go tomorrow, I really need to work on my core some more; one hourly yoga class and daily 20 min sessions at home are not enough. Seriously, I felt my back aching a bit during a longer tempo run and my arms aching when running speed intervals to day!

  • There are lots of other vids on YouTube, Swanscot, these are just the first two I found. I'm impressed with your yoga at home, though. I hope the swiss ball at home goes well too.

    I agree about aching backs. Not so much arms, but when I started c25k it was just the legs I focused on, but of course running involves muscles from elsewhere as well. Perhaps this class will help me with my running as well - fingers crossed!

  • >There are lots of other vids on YouTube, Swanscot

    Aye, I know, but I think Man-In-The-Desert will keep my going for a few weeks! ;-)

    But first I need to find my pump as the ball is a wee bit soft, when I sit on it is squashes down a bit like a bean bag!

    I read an article earlier in the week (sorry can't find it now as I've been jumping around the 'net so much) that said that strengthening your core muscles will definitely help with running.

  • Ha! Yes that man is inspirational. Just what I need. The exercise! The core exercise. Not the the man....... Well maybe the man too :).

    Seriously I have been thinking about core strength exercises and this looks... I'd like to say hilarious but I'm going to say interesting. I'm off shopping for that ball! Tx

  • Make sure you get the right size, Tricia (the ball, not the man :D - keep focused!)

    Bits of the class are indeed unintentionally hilarious. I'm slightly concerned about doing some of the exercises at home in case I get stuck and there's no one to rescue me. However, I can certainly feel my core muscles! Happy shopping :)

  • Hahaha! I am focused promise :) so much so I forgot the ball! Arghhhh

  • After reading this, and other tales of your adventures on a Swiss Ball, I've signed up to join a class starting on Monday evening. Apparently this is a new class in the village hall (not my village, so I won't know anyone) so all 12 participants will be beginners. I'm looking forward to it.. I think! ;-)

  • Brilliant - let us know how it goes! Although, like I said to someone above, if it doesn't make you ache, please don't tell me! You should have a giggle anyway :D

  • I survived my first Swiss Ball class. Like you, we have a shouty instructor who expects you to do all repetitions of each move, then another set after a 5 second break, then another...

    I really found it hard on my upper arms, my abdomen and even my quads that I thought were strong from running! Oh, no they weren't! It was tough, it hurt at times, but I've said I'll be going back next week, so I can't chicken out now! :-O

  • Ouch! Like I said, I thought at least my legs would be okay, but they weren't at all :( Things are getting better now as I get more used to the class and the movements, but I haven't done my homework (to kneel on all fours and to maintain balance on the ball) so I'd better get practicing before Thursday! It's doing us good. It is, right? It will be good for us...? :O

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