How to use exercise balls
Exercise balls, also known as stability balls or Swiss balls, have gained popularity in recent years as versatile fitness tools. These inflatable balls offer a wide range of benefits, from improving balance and core strength to enhancing flexibility and posture. In this blog, we will delve into the world of exercise balls and provide you with valuable insights on how to effectively incorporate them into your fitness routine.
First thing's first, you need to choose the right exercise ball for you. They come in various sizes and qualities.
How do I know what size exercise ball to get?
Begin by selecting the appropriate size exercise ball based on your height and weight. Generally, a ball with a diameter of 55-75 centimeters suits most adults. Remember to inflate the ball according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring it's firm but not overly rigid. Here's a size guide to help you choose the right size for you:
Ways to use an Exercise Ball:
Core Strengthening: Exercise balls are excellent tools for targeting your core muscles. Try exercises such as the stability ball plank, stability ball crunches, and stability ball pikes to engage your abs, obliques, and lower back. These exercises help build core strength, stability, and improve overall balance. See here for a quick 5 core exercises that you can do with your exercise ball
Balance and Stability Training: One of the primary benefits of exercise balls is improving balance and stability. Utilize the ball for exercises like the single-leg balance, standing squats, or lunges to challenge your stability and engage your leg muscles. These exercises not only strengthen your lower body but also enhance your proprioception. Here are a series of stretching exercises that can be performed on your exercise ball
Flexibility and Stretching: Exercise balls can also be used for stretching and increasing flexibility. Incorporate exercises like the supine bridge, back extensions, and hamstring curls to improve your range of motion. The instability of the ball adds an extra challenge, intensifying the stretch and engaging more muscle groups.
Total Body Workouts: Exercise balls offer countless options for full-body workouts. Combine different exercises to create a comprehensive routine. For instance, you can perform stability ball push-ups, stability ball squats, stability ball Russian twists, and stability ball rollouts to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: Exercise balls are widely used in rehabilitation and physical therapy settings due to their low-impact nature. If you're recovering from an injury or looking to alleviate muscle imbalances, consult with a professional to incorporate exercise ball exercises that suit your specific needs.
Birthing balls are widely used during labour to enhance comfort, promote relaxation, and facilitate labour progress. How do birthing balls actually work:
a. Sitting and Bouncing: Sit on the ball with your feet hip-width apart and gently bounce or rock your hips in a circular motion. This can help alleviate discomfort, provide relief from contractions, and encourage optimal foetal positioning.
b. Leaning and Resting: Place the birthing ball in front of a bed or sofa and lean your upper body onto it while kneeling on the floor or standing. This position can help relieve back pain and create a more comfortable environment during contractions.
c. Hip Circles: While sitting on the ball, gently rotate your hips in circular motions. This can help open up the pelvis, encourage the descent of the baby, and alleviate pressure on the lower back.
Where to buy an exercise ball?
There are a lot of options buying exercise balls online. The sizes, weights, colours and accessories can be confusing. Mind Body Future, with their anti-burst, anti-slip exercise balls have over 1,000 positive online reviews. Their exercise balls come in a range of colours and sizes varying from 55cm to 75cm. Each exercise ball comes with an easy to use foot pump, a stability ring to ensure maximum stability whilst using and a easy to follow use guide.
In conclusion, Exercise balls are versatile tools that can enhance your fitness journey. Whether you're focusing on core strength, balance, flexibility, or total body workouts, exercise balls offer endless possibilities. Remember to start with basic exercises and gradually progress as your strength and confidence increase. Always listen to your body, and consult a fitness professional if you have any concerns. Embrace the benefits of exercise balls and enjoy a well-rounded fitness routine!