Stability balls have taken the fitness world by storm, and it’s hard to imagine a gym without them. Exercises performed on these large balloon-like balls seem deceptively easy, but can be quite intense. If you’re thinking about incorporating stability ball exercises into your workout, the many benefits you can expect might just be the factor that helps you decide to go forward.
Due to the unstable surface of the ball, you’re consistently forced to engage the stabilizer muscles in your body, If you don’t do this, you’ll fall off the ball. When exercising on the floor, you wouldn’t use these muscles as much. Ball exercises can help increase your muscular strength and flexibility, and can also improve your posture and dynamic and static balance. Although the ball consistently challenges your core and increases your core stability, the different exercises you can do can provide a full-body workout. Ball exercises can be used for injury rehabilitation and can also improve your athletic performance.
Incorporating a stability ball into your exercise routine is also a nice break from the norm. It can spice up your workout and prevent boredom, because rolling, lying and sitting on this oversize beach ball is fun. It tends to bring back that childlike enjoyment of playing outside with a ball. The change of exercise also keeps your body challenged and prevents a plateau so you continue to see results.
Although many people are familiar with crunches on the ball, it can really be used for many more exercises. You can use the ball for an extra stabilizing challenge while using dumbbells or barbells for exercises such as biceps curls, chest presses, flyes and overhead presses. You can incorporate a stability ball during body-weight exercises, such as squats and pushups, and you can even use the ball when you’re stretching your body.
Stability balls are convenient to use. They are lightweight, deflatable and portable, so you can easily use them at home or take them along on vacation. They are inexpensive, durable, easy to store and don’t require heavy maintenance. The only maintenance that’s required is periodic cleaning with soapy water for sanitary purposes. People of all ages can use stability ball, because the exercises you can do on them are easily modified to meet your fitness level.
American College of Sports Medicine