Benefits of exercising with a stability ball
The stability ball is a popular and versatile piece of fitness equipment that can be used in the gym, at home, in physiotherapy sessions, and even in the workplace. Also known as exercise balls, Swiss balls, Physio balls, and balance balls, stability balls are designed to improve balance, muscle tone, and core strength.
Stability balls are air-filled and come in a variety of sizes. They are lightweight, durable, and inexpensive - but do they work? Here are some of the benefits of incorporating a stability ball into your exercise routine.
Improved flexibility. Use a stability ball to warm up and stretch your muscles before a workout. Improving flexibility reduces the risk of injury and maintains muscle and joint function.
Expand the range of motion. The stability ball can be used to extend the range of motion in certain exercises such as sit-ups and crunches.
Strengthens the core. If used properly, the stability ball can strengthen the core (abdominal and lower back muscles). These muscles are used to perform everyday activities. A strong core helps to protect the back and stabilize the entire body, including the spine, pelvis, hips, and shoulders.
Improves balance. The stabilizing muscles of the core can be worked simply by sitting on a stability ball. Training on the ball forces your body to improve its balance to complete the exercise and also helps to maintain a healthy posture.
Exercises to do on the stability ball
Here are a few ways to train various muscle groups using a stability ball.
Leg curls. Lie on your back with your feet resting on the ball. Start with your legs straight, your shoulders and arms on the ground, and your back and hips off the ground. Using your heels, pull the ball towards your body so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Plank. Place your hands firmly on the ball and straighten your arms. Keep your back and legs straight to activate your core and shoulder muscles while maintaining your balance. For an added challenge, bring your knees forward towards the ball and alternate legs.
Straight Leg Bridge. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, legs straight and feet resting on the stability ball. Contract your glutes and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Keep your torso engaged throughout the movement.
Push-ups. Get into a push-up position with your hands firmly on the floor, arms straight, and toes on a stability ball. Keep your core engaged to maintain your balance as you do your push-ups.
As well as exercise, the stability ball is often touted as a healthier alternative to sitting in a chair. Proponents of sitting on a stability ball say that because the abdominal muscles must be constantly engaged, core strength, posture, balance, and stability are all improved. Some also say that sitting on a stability ball increases calorie burning.
However, opponents of using a stability ball as an office chair argue that an office chair should relieve pressure on the lower back and support the arms and that sitting on a stability ball for long periods can increase back pain and fatigue. Before you start using a stability ball for exercise or as an alternative to an office chair, please consult your doctor to find out if a stability ball is good for you.
Throughout this article, I hope you have read helpful information that will help you to put the stability ball into perspective!