When hitting the gym these days I see people working out with all types of Balls these days. Also known as fitness and balance balls, these are more than just balls that you sit and bounce on, these balls can take our workout to the next level. They can be used to enhance your cardio endurance, balance, as well as strength. With their many benefits, it’s no wonder these balls are taking up a lot of space around the gym.
Why exercise balls are great for a workout?
Getting back into shape after an injury
Exercise balls are especially useful if you’re trying to recovery from an injury. With these balls you can do push-ups, planks, and squats on an unstable surface with additional support.
Maximizing benefits of strengthening workouts
They also let you maximize the benefits of strengthening exercises that strengthen your core muscles, such as back and abdominal muscles. With these balls, you can perform as many core-strength exercises as you can without worrying getting injured.
In addition to maximizing strengthening workouts, exercise balls can also be used to enhance your flexibility, as long as you’re using them correctly. You should consider using them to help you warm up or stretch your muscles before you start working out. This is especially true if you’re performing extreme exercises.
It’s true that exercise balls are just there so you can sit on them. But by sitting on them allows you to work on your stabilizer muscles. This is because you’ll need those muscles so you can sit on those balls while keeping your balance on the ball.
This is one of the reasons trainers recommend these balls for those who wish to maintain a healthy posture while working out. However, you must make sure that you’re doing the exercise right to prevent injury. Ensure that your spine is in proper alignment while using these exercise balls.
Adding variety to your exercises
If you perform only one to two exercises per week, you’ll surely get bored. However, when you add exercise balls to your routine, you can easily include variety to your daily workout making it more interesting. This will surely allow you to stick to it for a long time without leaving you jaded.
Types of balls
In this section, we’ll tackle the different types of balls and their benefits.
1. Exercise ball (large and small)
These are great for a variety of different workouts including: Crunch, Push-ups, Pull-Ins, Hip Bridges, the Pyramid and many more. Check out this guide of exercise ball workouts.
But, before working out with an exercise ball, whether it’s small or large, you must make sure that you have the correct size of the ball. To use it, sit on it with your feet flat on the floor. Ensure that your knees are bent at 90-degree angle. Essentially, you’ll mostly use it like a chair.
An exercise ball is especially great for beginners. This is also useful if you wish to improve your body’s balancing ability as it forces your spine to align properly. It enhances your spinal health while it decreases back pains during an exercise.
2. Bosu ball
It’s that half-ball that you see in a gym. This type of ball isn’t as glamorous as a typical exercise ball but it’s a very useful prop that can add more dimensions to your fitness routine.
There are plenty of ways to use a Bosu ball. For instance, you can use it when performing deadlift, side lunge and other balancing exercises. You can add variety to your seated twist moves with Bosu.
Should you wish to make your plank moves more challenging? Then, use this ball to change your planking moves.
Check out this video on how you can incorporate the Bosu ball into your workout.
Benefits of a Bosu ball
Just like the standard exercise ball, a Bosu has many benefits to those who wish to be fit. One of them is to sculpt your tummy. It intensifies your moves by allowing your body to enhance your balancing ability. By adding modifications to your routine with a Bosu ball, you’ll have a bikini-body in no time.
3. Medicine balls
There are several ways to use a medicine ball in your fitness routine and they come in a variety of shapes and styles. How you use it will depend on the exercise move you’re trying to achieve. You can use them for full body workouts, working out the legs and gluts, chest and back, shoulders and arms as well as the core. Check out this guide on different types of workouts.
With a medicine ball, you can train your body with functional movements. In other words, you can include them to add variety to your fitness routine which is great to keep you motivate and try different things while getting in shape. These balls can also be used for injury and rehabilitation.
Here are a few other balls that can be used for recovery and toning.
Balls for toning and recovery
1. Therapy balls
They can come from various sizes, from 35mm to 50mm. The most appropriate size will depend on how large your hand is. There are various ways to use therapy balls. But the most common move is to rotate them with your fingers in a clockwise motion.
They’re believed to stimulate the acupuncture points. It’s no wonder they’re used in shiatsu massage. The simple act of using these balls can stretch your aching joints and muscles to provide relief.
2. Small weighted toning balls
You can use these with several fitness routines including: upper body, lower body, abdominal and yoga. However, the main reason to purchase these would be to perform Pilate’s moves.
These balls help tone your body from head to toe. They can be used to target your arms, butt, thighs and abs to help tighten up those areas.
3. Foot massage balls
As the term implies, foot massage balls are generally used to give you a foot massage. To use them, you should take your socks or shoes off. Then, place them under the sole of your foot. Make sure that there’s something that you can hang onto while you’re balancing and rolling the ball under your feet.
They’re especially great in massaging your feet after a long day at work or at the end of your workout. You can use them when your feet are in pain or sore. These will help prevent you needing a foot massage each time you have achy feet or arches.
Conclusion on these great balls
Each of these exercise balls can have numerous applications. You only need to explore them to get their full benefits. These balls can be used every day, even if you’re not working out. For example, you can sit on a workout ball as a replacement for a chair while you’re at work or at home.
Regardless of how beneficial these balls are you should consult your physician or a personal trainer before trying to include them in your fitness routine. In this way, you can prevent enduring an injury and learn how to properly use them according to your fitness level.