Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5 Reasons to Make Stability-Ball Exercises Part of Your Workout

Whether at a gym or in your own home, one piece of fitness equipment that is often overlooked is the stability ball.  It is known by many different names:  Swiss ball, exercise ball, fitness ball, and physical therapy ball, among others.  Used alone, or in conjunction with other equipment, stability-ball exercises can add a whole new dimension to your workout. 

English: Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgersen, also known...
Stability balls can be used by people of all ages and fitness levels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. The stability ball is more versatile than other piece of fitness equipment. 

* Originally used by physical therapists decades ago to help improve on their patients' balance, these balls are now used in a wide variety of exercises. 

* Although they are used to strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen and lower back, stability balls can be used with dumbbells for conventional upper body exercises requiring a bench such as the military press, pec (pectoral) flies, and the bench press.  You will likely find that you cannot lift as much weight when performing stability ball exercises compared to the conventional bench.  This is due to the reduced stability of the ball.  However, because your muscles are working to stabilize the weight, you will find that you will get just as challenging a workout as if you were lifting the full amount of the weight.

2. A stability ball helps to improve your balance. 

* Since you are not sitting on a static chair, your core muscles must always make small corrections to stabilize your position on the ball. 

* The reality is there is only one surefire way to improve your balance, and that is practice.  Sitting on a stability ball, even for everyday activities such as watching television, can do wonders for your sense of balance. 

3. Some workout benches are better than others, but no bench can ever conform exactly to your body.  An advantage of stability balls is that they will do just that

* Even when firmly inflated, the shape of the ball will change to follow your body's shape.  This is regardless of whether you sit or lie on it. 

English: an exercise of upper back
Upper back exercise with stability ball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
4. As previously mentioned, stability balls require you to focus on maintaining your balance while performing any given exercise.  Because of this, you will activate a wider range of muscles than if you used a bench alone. 

* For example, with a conventional bench press, the focus is solely on the chest and arms.  Add a stability ball into the mix, and you now activate not only the chest and arms, but also the abs, lower back, and leg muscles as they work to keep you steady on the ball.

5. Lastly, compared to other exercise equipment, a stability ball is quite inexpensive. 

* As with anything in life, you get what you pay for, so seek advice when making your purchase.  However, the price of even the most expensive balls out there pale in comparison to the cost of some of the other gym equipment on the market.  In addition, although a stability ball is big in size, it can usually be tossed into the corner of a room and out of the way when not in use.

In conclusion, there are a number of reasons of why you should be incorporating stability-ball exercises into your workouts.  You are limited only by your inexperience with them.  So take the time to look for exercises that will work for you, and be sure to include them in your daily workout routine for a stronger, more toned core and better balance. 

You Can Even Buy Stability Balls Online:

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