Gym Ball, Exercise Ball, Swiss Ball, Yoga or Pilates Ball. It has many names but it is something every home should have. Not just great for exercise they are good for back pain and using as a chair for correct posture in every day life. Especially now with everyone working from home.
Increase your Flexibility
Using a Gym Ball during your workout routine can help improve your flexibility. Whether it’s for a quick warm-up before your workout or post training cool-down, your exercise ball can go a long way to keeping your muscles and joints functional, which can help prevent injury.
Incorporating a swiss ball in to your yoga routine will help you enhance the experience by introducing even more range of motion and increase strength and muscle movement.
Using a Gym Ball can help you build your abdominal and lower back muscles, also known as your core. These muscles protect your lumbar spine as well as help maintain the core stability of your whole body. Core work is incredibly important for any athlete as you use your core muscles in every activity and strengthening your core alone will make you faster and more efficient. Even sedentary couch potatoes will reap the benefits of improved posture from a stronger core.
The Gym Ball is very easy to do core work on and it works those ABS muscles hard.
Just sitting on a swiss ball engages the key stabilisers, the abdominal and back muscles.
By engaging these muscles constantly, a swiss ball can help with smoothing out any imbalances in your core or surrounding muscles as it forces you to support your own weight and stabilise yourself.
All of this helps improve your balance which can also help prevent future injuries.
The best thing about Exercise balls is their versatility. They are very convenient and can be incorporated into any workout routine from using the ball on its own for a workout to Yoga and Pilates classes.
General Workout – Use a gym ball to enhance simple exercises like a crunch. It improves the exercise as it increases the range of motion and requires your muscles to engage more than doing a sit up on the floor. You work all your side ABS muscles too by maintaining your balance on the ball.
Pilates – Most Pilates classes focus a good deal on your core and there is no better piece of equipment than a swiss ball so you will often see these balls in Pilates classes. If you are following a DVD workout at home, look at ways to add in using a Gym Ball to make the workout harder.
Yoga – There’s a lot of yoga poses that can be changed or enhanced using a swiss ball. Particularly if you aren’t very flexible you can use a Gym Ball as a support for balance or to help you gradually build your range of motion in the Yoga poses.
Resistance Training – Performing resistance exercises like lifting dumbbells or Kettlebells while sitting or leaning on a swiss ball can increase the resistance and range of motion of the exercise, making it a much more effective workout.
In recent years there has been significant research in to the idea of ‘active sitting’.
As more and more of us sit at our desks for extended periods of time this idea of active sitting is gaining popularity. The human body was not designed to sit and most office setups are not the best from an ergonomics point of view which causes problems with your posture and things like carpal tunnel etc.
Sitting places more strain on our back than when we stand or move around, meaning sitting for long periods can increase stiffness in the lower back and the hip while also weakening the abdominal and core muscles.
Sitting on a Gym Ball, creates an unstable surface to sit on, so the body has to constantly correct itself against gravity. This added need for balance encourages the postural muscles to be activated, providing small but beneficial movement in the muscles of the lower back, core and pelvis.