A exercise ball is a versatile piece of equipment that can provide several benefits for your spine health and overall core strength.
Exercise balls, also known as Swiss balls, have been around in the fitness world for decades. Named for its widespread use by Swiss physiotherapists who focus on postural re-education and back rehabilitation, this fitness tool is made of soft plastic and filled with air.
The basic advantage of using an exercise ball is that your body reacts to the instability of the ball and tries to balance itself, ensuring that your core muscles are activated. This helps improve back and spine health, core stability, posture and muscle balance.
But that's not all there is to exercising with a exercise ball. We introduce you five benefits of using exercise ball:
1. Good Back and Spine Health
Exercise balls help strengthen the muscles that support the structure of the spine, which improves posture and increases lower back strength. Since balancing on the ball forces you to maintain correct posture, this "coincidence" design improves the strength and posture of your spine and increases blood flow, which relieves pain.
2. Core Strength
Using an exercise ball activates the stabilizer muscles of your core and helps connect your center of gravity. The unstable surface of the exercise ball engages your core muscles, putting in extra effort to keep your entire body in balance while exercising. Not to mention, the height provided by the ball allows you to achieve a greater range of motion and engage smaller muscle groups that are inadvertently overlooked when exercising on a flat surface.
3. Flexibility guaranteed
The spherical surface of the medicine ball allows your muscles to stretch more. It also drives your body to adapt to the shape of the ball, adjust the position of your joints, and stretch specific muscle groups for balance. You may also want to consider warming up with a ball before your workout, as this can reduce your risk of injury and enhance joint and muscle function.
4. Better balance
Using a exercise ball requires the use of the back and abdominal muscles for balance. The sheer effort to maintain proper posture while using the ball can improve your overall balance and proprioception -- the ability to sense the relative position and actual movement of body parts. Exercise balls help to repeatedly reassess limb position and coordination to keep you from falling to the ground.
5. It Offers Variety
This tool happens to be a friend of all kinds of exercise routines. Exercise balls can be incorporated into many different workouts, whether it's a basic gym workout with exercises like sit-ups or Pilates, or resistance training, where sitting or leaning on a medicine ball can add resistance and increase the range of motion you're exercising.