Rehab your back with a exercise ball

Lower back injuries often limit movement and cause weakness in the lower back muscles. Exercise balls are an excellent choice for a gentle core-strengthening program, which stabilizes the muscles around the spine and helps prevent future injuries.

exercise ball

One of the easiest ways to incorporate an exercise ball into your routine is to practice sitting on it. Sitting on a Yoga Ball Chair activates the core muscles needed to maintain balance. If you have trouble with balance, deflate the ball a little for more stability. If your balance feels good, try replacing your office chair with an exercise ball chair, or sit on an exercise ball while watching TV. In addition to working your core muscles, the ball reduces stress on your spine.

Once you're comfortable with the exercise ball, you can introduce more advanced exercises, including squats, into your workout routine. Many low back injuries are the result of improper lifting; using exercise ball squats (with the exercise ball against the wall behind the lower back) trains the back to maintain proper posture and trains the knees not to go over the toes. Knowing proper body mechanics when lifting heavy weights can help prevent potential lower back injuries.

The benefits of an exercise ball go beyond back injury rehabilitation, the muscular action required to stay upright on the ball also helps to find a neutral spinal position, improve posture, increase lower back mobility, and develop overall strength and support for the core muscles, including the back and abdomen) control.

As with any exercise program, it is essential to consult your doctor or licensed physical therapist before beginning. Many exercise balls may have their own set of exercises, but trying advanced moves before you're ready can lead to injury. A trained professional can provide you with a list of exercises tailored to your specific needs and can show you how to use the exercise ball properly.