Exercise balls are one of the most underrated fitness tools on the current market. Not only are they cheap to buy, they are also extremely easy to store in your home and let’s face it, these are important factors when you are buying exercise equipment for use within your home.
Not only can exercise balls help you to develop great muscle tone across your whole body. There are so many other benefits that can be achieved using this simple piece of fitness equipment. By using a low impact workout you can also help to improve your cardiovascular system and overall body flexibility.
Many people also use an exercise ball as a health aid to assist with back problems as the ball supports your lower back as you do your exercises. Some people with back problem find that they are prescribed an exercise ball to carry out their recovery program. Physiotherapists have been using exercise balls as a treatment aid for years.
You may have heard of a birth ball? They are used by many pregnant women in the lead up to their due date. The birth ball is exactly the same as an exercise ball other than the material is slightly thicker (to support the extra weight presumably). Many pregnant women find it very uncomfortable to sit in the later stages of their pregnancy and the ball allows their weight to be distributed evenly and it also supports their lower back. Many women find that the only time they are comfortable is when they are sat on their ball. This is mainly because the exercise ball helps to promote good posture and this goes for everyone, not only pregnant ladies. Birth balls are basically an expensive exercise ball and you will find that many pregnant women simply use exercise balls instead.
Before you begin using your exercise ball there are a few very important things that you check first:
• Ensure the exercise ball is inflated to the correct size for your height and weight (your instruction booklet will provide you with the details)
• Check that your hips are level with or just slightly higher than your knees when you sit on the exercise ball
• If you are over the prescribed weight for the exercise ball do not put yourself at risk by using it. There are stronger balls available (similar to birth balls) and these can help with any of the exercises you wish to carry out.
Exercise balls can be used for a wide variety of fitness programs including the following:
• Weight Training – the exercise ball can be used as an equivalent to a weight bench and it will add difficulty to the movements and will make your leg, bum and abs muscles work extra hard.
• Abdominal Training – many people choose to do twists, crunches and other popular exercises on their exercise ball. These types of exercises put more pressure on your muscles so this can help with developing a six pack or when working on your abs.
• Yoga and Pilates – the majority of Pilates and yoga guides out today are heavily reliant on you having an exercise ball. They will show you relaxation techniques to use with the ball as well as workouts.
If you have children you will find that they absolutely love your exercise ball. They will want to be out playing with it all the time. They may have 10 balls of their own but the exercise ball will seem giant to them and will prove a great exercise incentive.
If you want to improve your overall muscle tone, and your abs and / or develop a 6 pack then an exercise ball is for you and the best bit is that there are a multitude of videos freely available on internet sites that you can use to provide you with detailed workouts to ensure you get your desired results.
Although an exercise ball cannot build up your fitness in the way a treadmilll could, it can help you tone up for summer quickly.