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Articles Fitness Nutrition

An Introduction to the Stability Ball

The stability ball is a big ball made out of soft and elastic PVC, which is a thermoplastic polymer. The stability ball usually measures anywhere from 14 to 34 inches in diameter. Filled up with air, the stability ball is used for a wide range of applications, most commonly for athletic training, plain old exercise and also physical therapy. This ball, back when it was known as the Swiss Ball, was first developed in 1963 by an Italian manufacturer of plastics, Aquilino Cosani. Shortly thereafter, they were first used in Switzerland by a British physiotherapist by the name of Mary Quinton, who used them in programs to treat newborns and infants.

Body Parts that Get the Workout

The exact muscles that get the intended workout from a stability ball exercise are your back muscles and also your abdominal muscles, basically the core muscles in your body. The principle at work behind this targeting of the core muscles is that your muscles are engaged more due to your position exercising on the ball, which is a surface that is unstable. As a result, to compensate for this instability, your muscles work harder and thus get stronger as they try to keep balance.

Proper and Safe Usage of Stability Ball

Make certain that you inflate the ball to the right pressure by checking to see if you can make an indentation on it with a finger. If you can, it is inflated just the right way. Over- or under-inflation will result in failure to get the most out of your stability ball exercises. Before inflating the ball, you have to make sure that it is at room temperature. Using your stability ball safely is also a great consideration that you should have before beginning an exercise session. To avoid injuries, ensure that you sit on the ball without letting your back or shoulders sag. Similarly, you should only rest your upper back on the stability ball when doing abdominal exercises, but not under any other circumstances.

Types of Exercises on the Stability Ball

One of the most popular exercises on the stability ball is the squat. You just stand with the stability ball propped in between your spine and a wall. Then you move into a sitting position while making sure the ball stays in contact with your back. Repeat this motion several times. Another form of exercise is the birddogs. Here, you simply place the ball under your abdomen while getting on your knees and hands. Lift and then stretch out your opposite leg and arm off the floor at the same time. Repeat this several times over.

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