26 Mar Benefits of the Stability Ball (Plus How to Use One)
If you visit the gym, you’ll see them everywhere. If you search for them on YouTube, you’ll see some great videos of people using them to collide into one another. While this is mildly entertaining (and dangerous) many people aren’t sure how to use Stability Balls properly.
One of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment used today is the Stability Ball; often also called “balance balls” or “exercise balls.” These tools are incredibly effective in developing balance and core strength, and have been integrated into training, conditioning, and therapy programs of all types.
Stability balls are both portable and light weight, and can be used in a variety of settings including your own home. Additionally, these balls are very inexpensive.
Picking the Right Ball
Selecting a stability exercise ball is simple. The proper ball will allow you to sit on it with your knees at a 90 degree angle. This ball should be placed in an area without any support or anchors for your limbs available. The whole idea is to create an unstable environment.
Using the Ball as a Chair
Sitting on a stability ball encourages you to have better posture and core strength. You will also benefit from greater freedom of movement as you are seated. In a study done at State University of New York Buffalo, research found that people who sat on stability balls burned 4.1 times more calories per hour than those who sat in an office chair.
It’s important to note that many people think these balls are great for people with back pain. THIS IS INCORRECT. People suffering from back pain should choose a properly fitted ergonomic chair to support their back.
Training with Stability Balls
There are a variety of ways you can train using a stability ball. When using the ball correctly, the body must utilize various muscles for stabilization. These muscles are not always challenged using traditional exercise equipment. When performed on a stability ball, a simple dumbbell curl that would typically only work your arm, now works your abdominal muscles as well.
A stability ball can be a great tool with many benefits during pregnancy. Stability balls can significantly help support the extra weight that your body is carrying around. These can even be used during labor to help support certain positions or rhythms to take less stress off of your muscles.
So next time you come across a stability ball, resist the urge to use it as a giant bouncy ball and have a seat. You might just discover muscles in your body that you never knew you had!
If you need help creating a strong, supportive core, Body One PT is here to help. Our team of expert Physical Therapists works with patients of all ages and activity levels and we want to help get you moving in the right direction. We’re both locally owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t wait to start moving and feeling better, call or click today!