An exercise ball or balance ball is a versatile piece of equipment that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Besides helping develop good overall muscle tone for the body, the ball provides numerous other benefits that range anywhere from rehabilitating the back, hips, and knee injuries, to improving core stability, posture and muscle balance. It also helps improve flexibility and cardiovascular health with a low-impact workout.
As an introduction to exercising on the ball, it’s often recommended to sit on one for 30 minutes a day and bounce lightly while maintaining your own balance. This balanced position is referred to as “the centre of gravity” as the upper body is balanced on the stable pelvic base and promotes a neutral lumbar spine position.
You can find this position by slouching slightly on the exercise ball, rounding the lower and upper back and bouncing lightly. Allow your body to automatically find the straightened posture, which will help you stay balanced whilst continuing to bounce on the exercise ball. This is also aided by the stomach muscles which work to keep a balanced, neutral posture.
Just by sitting on the ball, you can activate the stabiliser muscles in your core and not only improve your posture, but also feel more in touch with your centre of gravity.
Ways You Can Use An Exercise Ball
1. Improving Balance
The movement of an exercise ball requires muscular response to keep your centre of gravity and maintain balance on the ball. This stimulates the deeper core muscles which supports the spine. Incorporating an exercise ball into your routine can also be beneficial for a healthy posture.
2. Support During Pregnancy
Exercise balls are a great aid for pregnant women as it supports the extra weight and change of centre of gravity. During labour, the exercise ball can also be used to provide support for certain positions with rhythmic movement and gentle bouncing.
3. Strengthens Your Core
Any exercise performed on an exercise bench can also be done on a ball with the added twist of making it more challenging. You’ll also be able to strengthen your core as you use your core muscles to maintain stability.
4. Improves Flexibility
Using a balance ball regularly during your workout routine can improve your flexibility. It can even be used to simply stretch and warm up muscles before a workout starts. This reduces the risk of injury whilst gradually stretching your muscles. It can also be very useful if you have back problems as it supports your lower back when you stretch and exercise.
5. Boosts Sports Performance
If you’re an active person, you’ll appreciate the unstable and soft surface of the balance ball which activates your core structure, strengthens your core muscles and improves balance, coordination and posture. These skills can help ramp up your cardio workout, boost your heart rate and improve fitness levels.
We currently have a dynamic product, which mimics an exercise ball, that’s been cut in half. It’s a revolutionary and innovative balance training device that redefines balance training to uniquely focusing on core stability.
To see this product and more from our Rehabilitation range, click here.