Add an Exercise Ball Routine for Visible Results FAST
Are you wondering how this large, round ball can help you in your fitness goals? The exercise ball, also called a balance ball, gym ball, fitness ball, or Swiss ball, has properties that combined with controlled body movements, produces a gentle yet effective workout.
The constant need to maintain balance employs your core muscles. This muscle group, which includes the lower back and abs is responsible for balance, mobility, power production and is the biggest player in preventing injuries because it acts as a group of stabilizers for your entire body!
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What makes the exercise ball effective?
Essentially, the roundness of the ball makes it unstable. When you sit on it or perform other movements with it, your body tries to steady it while making the movements. This results in the body using more muscles to stabilize as well as perform.
Merely sitting on the sphere involves the core muscles to keep it steady. The constant adjusting of the body to keep it from rolling burns extra calories and uses muscles that are generally dormant while sitting. Adding other movements such as raising the arms or one leg requires balance and precise movement at the same time.
Other uses for the exercise ball
The other major use for this simple equipment is the relief of back, leg and arm pain. There are many movements specifically developed for this purpose and some people pursue back pain relief by performing these exercises. However, many have found that just sitting on the ball while sitting at a desk or computer several hours a day relieves their back pain.
Again, keeping it steady works certain muscles that would remain sedentary if it weren’t for the effort needed to stay balanced. Back muscles working constantly to keep it steady have no chance to become stiff and sore from sitting still for hours on end! Constant working of the core muscles is an added bonus and you may also notice a pleasant improvement in posture.
Actual fitness chairs for the office are available with a base and casters to use at a desk or computer table.
Some pregnant women swear by the fitness ball in preparation for childbirth and to relieve lower back pain during the pregnancy. Pregnant women are able to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles in order to make it easier to help the baby through the birth canal. Many mothers who have had multiple children believe that using the fitness ball eased their pain during contractions. (Of course, if you’re pregnant, the use of this equipment must be approved by your physician for safety to you and your baby.)
After the baby is born and you’ve had your six-week examination and approval from your doctor, the exercise ball is a gentle, effective way to return to the weight and fitness level you had before you became pregnant.
Some therapists have discovered that children and adults with ADD/ADHD have benefited from using the Swiss ball. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder using this therapy in the classroom have enjoyed significant increase in being able to sit still and focus, two of the major symptoms of this disorder.
The balance ball is made of soft PVC that is filled with air. Its measurements vary from 35 cm up to 85 cm in diameter. It is important to fill it with the correct amount of air to keep it from being too flat and not effectively using your core muscles for balance. You may also fill it with too much air and your muscles are over worked to keep it from rolling.
You’ve learned how the gym ball can prove to be an asset to your overall fitness program, relieve and prevent back pain and help pregnant women have an easier time when it comes to giving birth. The inexpensive and enjoyable exercise ball may be the answer to a life of better fitness that you can see in just a few months.