Stability Ball Exercises Help Strengthen Your Core

fitness ballYou have probably seen them in the gym, those inflated rubber balls that look more of a playground toy than a gym equipment. Do not be fooled, however, because stability balls are serious training tools that can add extra challenge to your muscle-conditioning routine. It is called "stability ball" because it strengthens your core muscles while establishing your balance.

For instance, try sitting on it and you can feel your abdominals, as well as your hips, legs, and back muscles working together in ways that you may not have done had you sit on a flat and established surface. They are also referred to as Swiss balls, Resist-a-Balls, fit balls, balance balls, and body balls.

The stability balls lets you perform many exercise moves and stretches that involve both your upper and lower body. For example, doing bicep curls while sitting on the ball works on both your arms and core. Plus, if you lean back, you get a deeper stretch than if you were just flat on the floor. They also come in different bases and attachments that prevent them from rolling away. For instance, a Bosu ball is half a stability ball with one flat side. Since it is flat, it is stable enough for you to stand on it, letting you work more muscles as you balance yourself.

Different sizes for different people

If you are going to buy a stability ball for the first time, you may have noticed that it comes in different sizes. To choose which ball is the right one for you, make sure that it should match your height. When you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor, your hips should be at knee level and your thighs parallel to the floor.

Pumping the ball

You stability ball comes with a small hand pump among other attachments. Pump the ball until it is firm and make sure it does not compress if you push your finger into it before putting on the plug. However, you may find the ball more stable if it is not inflated fully. You can also purchase a more powerful upright pump if you are a bit impatient.

Working out on the ball

Good exercises to start while on the ball are to sit on top of it and perform arm exercises like bicep curls and overhead presses while holding dumbbells. Since you are also establishing your balance, move the dumbbells slowly to avoid falling over. However, if you are working on your abdominals for the first time, it is recommended to strengthen them first without using the stability ball to avoid overstressing your spinal discs.