The stability ball goes by many names such as the balance ball, Swiss ball, exercise ball, physio ball, therapy ball, sport ball and more.
This piece of equipment has to be one of the greatest fitness innovations ever. It can benefit any fitness level and goal from rehabilitative therapy to athletic training.
The ball works wonders because of the instability that balancing on a round surface causes. While performing exercises on the ball you need to stay balanced. This recruits core and smaller, stabilizing muscles in to action. The result is more muscles worked, improved balance and a stronger core.
The ball is especially useful for home gyms with limited space. In many cases the ball can substitute as an weight bench.
Some of the many exercises that can be performed on the ball include:
Squats with the ball against the wall
When you position the ball in to your lower back and do squats against a wall with your feet more narrow you have the support to perform squats with a greater range of motion. (ROM) This is difficult for most people due to inflexibility in the hips and hamstrings.
Bench Press, Incline Press, Flyes, Dumbbell Rows
It's hard to properly work the chest and back when you do not have a weight bench at home. The stability ball can be used as a weight bench in many cases. You just need to reduce the weight slightly to counter the instability of the ball.
To start, place the ball up against a wall and do your tricep dips as if the ball were a bench. This is especially beneficial if you can do more than 15 body weight dips off of a bench. When your balance improves, move the ball away from the wall for an extra challenge
The stability ball can be used to work out any muscle group without weights. Push ups with either hands on or feet, leg curls by pulling the ball towards your butt while laying on your back. Not to mention yoga and pilates postures stretches and back extensions and balance exercises. The possibilities are endless!
The stability ball is best known for ab exercises. It's usually what people try first. Even a basic crunch works your core in new and different ways. Most notably, you can feel the crunch in the lower portion of your core even more. There are literally hundreds of ways to challenge your abs on the stability ball. It's a lot more comfortable then the floor too!
The stability ball can be used as a chair for the office or while watching TV. The ball forces you to sit up and significantly improves your posture. Remember that a proper upright post makes you look taller and more confident!
The stability ball is affordable, portable and comes in various sizes to accommodate any height. I highly recommend the stability ball to anyone that wants to get in to great shape.