Invented in 1963, the stability ball was originally developed as a toy for children. Soon after, physiotherapist began using them as a rehabilitation tool. Today they can be found in most gyms and fitness facilities, in the home and even in the office. For good reason, the stability ball offers many benefits regardless of your fitness goals…
Develops Functional Movement
Stability ball training works the body in ways most other exercise equipment does not. It involves the integration of strength, balance and flexibility. Training with a stability ball enhances the body’s ability to move without restriction and to perform functional movements necessary in everyday life.
The Importance of Balance
There are two types of balance, static and dynamic. Static balance is the ability to hold the body in a fixed position and is what we most commonly think of as “balance”. Dynamic balance involves balance in movement. Walking is good example of a dynamic balance movement. Improvement in dynamic balance helps make everyday movements easier, more efficient and ultimately safer as poor dynamic balance is often involved in injuries and falls.
Stability ball training is designed to target and strengthen dynamic balance, helping to improve co-ordination, flexibility, strength.
Poor posture eventually leads to stress in the joints and stabiliser muscles as movements begin and end in poor posture when spinal alignment is off. The added stress on joints and stabilising muscles increases the chance of injury, over time leading to low-back problems.
Stability ball exercises requires movement with proper posture. Correct posture is necessary as the stabiliser muscles of the core work to balance the body while on the ball. Exercising regularly with a stability ball can help to improve poor posture and maintain and strengthen existing good posture. Keeping your spine and stabiliser muscles healthy helps reduce chances of low-back pain in the future.
Full body or body part specific training is easily achieved with the stability ball, as it lends itself to many forms of training including muscle strength, cardio, muscle endurance and flexibility training. You can also transition from one exercise to the next with relative ease, which keeps you moving.
Whether a session with the stability ball is focused on strength or flexibility, balance work is also taking place at the same time, helping to improve posture, and making your workout more time-efficient.
Challenging & Fun
One of the biggest selling points of the stability ball is the element of fun it brings to exercise. It’s hard not to enjoy a training session or class that involves these large, inflated and colorful orbs. This atmosphere of fun is often what encourages a person to exercise when they usually would not be inclined to do so.
While very enjoyable to work with, don’t be fouled into thinking a stability ball workout is only for beginners. You really can get a excellent workout that will challenge your entire body and help you to feel stronger and more connected to your body’s movements in daily life. The level of difficulty can easily be increased or decreased, depending on the user’s current fitness level.
I have been a big fan of the stability ball and have used it in my own training for many years, so I’m really excited to be running a new stability ball class! The class is a one hour full body workout that will help improve your posture, strength and flexibility. Helping you reap the many benefits of stability ball training mentioned above.
There will be a FREE trial class on Wednesday 14th March 2012, 10:00-11:00am for anyone who would like to come along and try out the class. Classes will run every Wednesday from 21st March 2012.
Click on the link for full details Stability Ball Class