Exercise balls can serve as excellent exercise equipment. These balls, constructed of elastic rubber having a diameter of around 22 inches to 34 inches, are also referred to as “Swiss balls.” These balls come in a number of forms including pilates balls that are most suitable for pilates exercises, and medicine balls that are used as a training aid for several different exercises. Besides these, there are also the timing balls that help in developing accuracy and timing of strikes and kicks of martial arts.
Low back pains can be treated with the help of exercise balls. The usage of exercise balls also act as a preventive for relapsing of back pain. Core body muscles are developed with the regular usage of exercise balls. This helps in stabilizing the spine or vertebral column.
The balls come of use for athletes of several kinds as also for older people and pregnant women. Particular exercises have been developed making use of the ball in different ways to provide special benefit for specific groups whose interests the exercise ball serves.
The size of the exercise ball to be used is important. This depends on the height of the person concerned. An easy way of determining this is to sit on the ball to make sure that the hips come level or just slightly higher then the knees. Even overweight people can use suitable exercise balls. There are burst resistant exercise balls that can hold over 600 pounds.
Exercise balls work by putting the body in an unstable environment. Thus, on lying on the ball the body reacts and the legs and abdominal muscles contract immediately to prevent falling off. Coupled with some simple exercises like chest press or crunch this helps increase intensity of the movement. Thus by engaging more muscles to work the ball helps make them stronger over time for keeping balance.
They can be used for just about anything i.e. any exercising. They are versatile enough for weight training, abdominal training, flexibility, Yoga and pilates exercises and even for playing around or sitting around. Exercise ball workouts are best achieved by following the exercise ball videos or books.
Exercise balls help achieve a host of benefits; apart from developing the overall control and strength of the core body muscles, they also increase lower back mobility. They enhance the balancing and stabilizing capacities of the body, too.
There may be some harm associated with the exercise balls, also. It has been observed that people often tend to overuse the balls which can lead to injury. It has also been opined that a significant proportion of exercises undertaken using the Exercise balls are quite useless. They cannot satisfactorily achieve the projected claims.