Training With a Stability Ball
By Muscle Media
If there is one piece of equipment you should include in your training, it’s the stability ball. The market features new training tools every now and then. These new pieces of equipment vary in quality and effectiveness. Often, you can’t be sure if they work and if they’re safe.
A “Stability Ball” is a large, inflatable ball used as a multi-purpose exercise equipment. Although air-filled, it is generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic and is capable of holding up to 600 pounds. It is comfortable and offers good support. It perfectly suits the trainee as it easily adapts to the role it plays in an exercise program. This exercise tool is also sometimes called as the “physio-ball” or the Swiss Ball.
An advantage to using the stability ball is how it reduces the perception of ‘working’ in training. This is especially true for beginners. The ball introduces an element of “play” as training becomes more challenging. It adds fun and excitement as you advance through your workout program.
Another advantage with the ball is that anybody can use it. It requires no specific fitness level. It’s very portable and light weight. And it is easy to take along even when traveling. Comparing to other equipment, the ball is also inexpensive. It can last for a very long time.
The use of the stability balls for training can be traced back to post-injury rehabilitation. As early as the 1900’s, physical therapists have been using similar balls to address neurological disorders of their patients. Then, in the early 1960’s, an Italian toy maker named Aquilino Cosani made a ball known then as the “Gymnastik.” He made it available to the treating professionals as well as the general public. Two decades after, Cosani formed a company called Gymnic and became the major supplier of stability balls to most rehabilitation programs and centers.
In the 90’s, the use of the ball gradually shifted from the rehabilitation to the athletic arena. It was introduced to condition professional athletes. Since then, the ball has become prominent in the fitness community. At present, medical and fitness professionals recommend the use of the stability ball by the public. It serves more than addressing physical problems. It is also an effective tool to help preventing you from suffering an injury.
The stability ball has been used to effectively improve the strength of the abs and the lower-back. It improves the functional strength, balance and flexibility of the body. Here are several uses of the stability ball research has continued to reveal.
Using the ball during training challenges the body to make use of different body parts to maintain proper balance. Dynamic movements experienced during exercise will improve natural motor reflexes. Different muscles are recruited in the movements, especially those that are not ordinarily used. The challenge posed by the ball is to maintain balance. As you try to maintain proper balance, the alignment of the body parts also improve.
For people working out to achieve great abs, the ball can effectively target the entire abdominal area. The abs and the back muscles are simultaneously taxed as you work to keep your balance. Imagine the feeling of having a flat stomach area after having fun working with this ball.
Muscle Strength and Endurance
The stability ball can help in alleviating back pain and help prevent future discomfort. Exercising all the major muscle groups will improve muscle tone, strength and endurance. Thus, it promotes body flexibility, stability and resistance. As you increase the duration of your workouts, you also improve endurance.
This concerns the major muscles that helps stabilize and support all body movements. This is made up of back and the deep abdominal muscles that connect the upper and lower torso. The ball exercises these muscles no matter how “deep” they are.
The ball is an excellent companion during stretching exercises. With this, you can easily move in and out of different stretching positions. Exercise more muscle groups than on the flat floor while stretching on the ball.
With all the listed benefits of using the ball, don’t miss the benefit of losing weight. With regular exercise and training with the stability ball, you can lose some unwanted pounds as the body is firmed. The real secret is to use the ball regularly.
Health is definitely your most important asset. Do your regular exercises and maintain a healthy diet. Discover the magic of fun training with the stability ball.