The humble exercise ball doesn’t look half as hardcore as the machines and equipment that you work out with so often at the gym with your personal trainer. It’s soft. It’s filled with air – and very often it comes in pink. However, there are some serious benefits to working out with an exercise ball, proving that it shouldn’t be under-estimated. Let’s take a look.
1. Improved balance and posture
The ball isn’t as stable as a chair so sitting on it requires two things: good posture and a stable core. The most comfortable position to sit in on the ball is one with good posture or alignment. You’ll find you naturally sit well on the ball and, in turn, this good posture will help prevent injury. Plus, maintaining that comfortable seat requires your body to use its stabiliser muscles – the ones that run through your core and along your spine. This improves your balance.
2. Engages your core better
As we just mentioned, your core – your abdominals and the lower back muscles that run along the spine – must work a harder when you sit on the ball. This means your core gets a good workout whenever you use the ball, even if it’s to do other exercises.
3. The exercise ball teaches you how to perform better
The exercise ball will roll out from under you if you don’t maintain the good posture and core engagement we spoke about earlier. This constant focus on the body’s balance, position and stability makes you more aware of your movements. Through this increased awareness of your body, you’ll perform better as an athlete (or a regular gym-goer!), getting even more out of your workouts. Plus, you’re less likely to suffer the injuries borne of poor form and technique.
4. You don’t need any fancy equipment
Most commercial gyms will have at least one exercise ball available for you to use and you don’t need a personal trainer to tell you how to use it. But if not, these balls are available at most sports equipment stores and are affordable. Once you have a ball, you can use it to work out at home. You don’t need any extra weights or equipment since there are dozens of exercises you can do with the exercise ball alone. In fact, the only piece of equipment you need is your body!
5. It’s versatile
Gym equipment is not versatile if you consider that one machine generally performs one or two exercises and works a few muscles at a time. The exercise ball, on the other hand, is incredibly flexible as you can use it to stretch and improve your flexibility and you can also use it as a training tool to target just about every muscle in the body since there are loads of exercises you can perform on the ball.
If you already know all of this because exercise and fitness are your passion – so much so that your friends recruit you to be their unofficial personal trainer – then maybe it’s time you make a career out of your passion. Check out the Trifocus Fitness Academy Personal Training Certification,which will equip you to train others on the exercise ball. Find out more here.