Exercise Ball Exercising
Who would have thought a large bouncy ball would have become a must-have piece of fitness equipment. The genius who designed it, could not have imagined just how popular it would become one day. The exercise ball has become part of the furniture at clinics, gyms, and increasingly so at home. But are we really missing a trick here?
They are typically found all over. Pictured in workouts to strengthen abdominals, improve core balance and increase functional strength, stability ball exercises are becoming one of the most popular fitness trends. In fact, it is predicted that more and more fitness classes will focus on core strength and that exercise classes that use balls will continue to gain popularity.
Using the ball works your “base” or trunk in almost all exercises including those that work the extremities; you can easily position your body while on the ball for a greater range of motion than some conventional exercises; and your balance, posture and body awareness improve due to the dynamic nature of the exercising ball. Exercising with a ball can improve your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.
The ball is in general used to develop the core muscles with routines to place them under stress. However, the ball’s best features are not used to the full. Invariably routines using the ball are just the kind of exercises that have been done without a ball for centuries. Sit-ups, leg raises or extensor exercises are not anything new. The positions you can do them in using a ball does add a new facet, but in effect they are the same. This is not to say an exercise ball routine is not beneficial, with a bit of imagination you can get distant more from your ball workout.
The key benefit of the exercise ball is its mobility and compressibility. It is believed that the ball can be used to develop far more than just core muscles. Just balancing on the ball will help to develop coordination and balance but there is another less apparent skill that you can practice, and that is, learning to be in the moment.
Exercising balls helps you to ‘get out of the way’ and develop your skills of awareness, focus and detachment - essential for health and fitness. To balance successfully on the ball with no feet on the ground you have to not worry about falling off. This will prevent you from stiffening your jaw, neck and shoulder muscles to allow your in-built balance systems to coordinate your arms, legs and your core at the same time. The main objective is to take what you can learn using your ball into your everyday activities. This way you will still be benefiting from your routines when moving about your business. You do not need to think about holding your stomach in, or standing and sitting up straight, because these actions will only cause discomfort and adversely affect your posture in the long term. But, it is also important to remember that a ball is a piece of fitness equipment and should follow manufacturer guidelines for its inflation and care.
Sort out for things that will develop total coordination and your understanding of how your body would like to coordinate itself. Use your body as a whole and not only will your stomach muscles get a workout but your coordination, posture and focus skills will improve radically.
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