SO now we begin a new chapter in our BLOG dedicated to the SWISS BALL.
What is a Swiss ball?
Swiss balls are large, heavy-duty inflatable balls with a diameter of 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 inches). The Swiss ball is also known by a number of different names, including exercise ball, gym ball, Pilate’s ball, sports ball, fit or fitness ball, stability ball, therapy ball, yoga ball, balance ball, body ball, or birth ball.
Swiss balls offer you a fun, safe and highly effective way to exercise. They will last for a very long time and are inexpensive compared to other exercise equipment.
Where did they come from?
The Swiss ball was used as early as the 1960s. It originally was used by physical therapists and chiropractors in Switzerland to assist with rehabilitation and became known as the Swiss Ball.
Through seminars and classes the Swiss Ball was introduced into the USA in the early 1980’s. But, the Swiss Ball is far more versatile and valuable than simply for re-hab use. In the late 1980’s coaches, athletic trainers and personal trainers realized the effectiveness of the Swiss Ball in developing balance and core strength. Since then they are reported as being the most effective method for core conditioning.
How to choose the right size?
Why should I use a Swiss ball?
Swiss balls are one of today’s top fitness tools – and for good reason! Using a Swiss ball will improve the strength of the abs and the lower back. Since the Swiss ball is unstable you have to constantly adjust your balance, which in turn will improve your balance, proprioception and flexibility. As an extra challenge you can use the exercise ball as a bench using free-weights to target those hard to reach stabilizer muscles.
- Proper Alignment
Using the Swiss ball during training will utilize many additional muscles to maintain stability and balance. Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment, which can greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength. The alignment of your body is also improved when proper balance is maintained.
- Great Abs
An abdominal crunch on the fitness ball has been scientifically proven to work your abs better than a regular crunch. For people working out to achieve great abs, the Swiss ball can definitely target the abdominal areas as the abs and back muscles are simultaneously worked.
- Muscle Strength and Endurance
The Swiss ball can improve muscle strength and endurance in all of the major muscle groups. Training with the stability ball can help in alleviating back pain and preventing pain in the future. As all the major muscle groups are exercised, tone, strength and endurance are improved as well as flexibility and balance.
- Core Stability
Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment so you can also greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength in your abs and back. The major muscles that help stabilize and support all of your body movements are made up of the back and the deep abdominal muscles. With the Swiss ball no matter how “deep” these muscles are, they are still exercised. This is something only the ball can guarantee.
The Swiss ball is a great tool for stretching exercises. With this, you can easily move into and move out of different stretching positions. Training with the Swiss ball will restore or improve your flexibility.
- Losing Weight
Any exercise that strengthens your muscles will help to reduce body fat. With regular exercise using the stability ball, you will also lose weight!