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Fitter1 Tip: If you want to learn more about training with a Swiss ball, there are many books and videos that will advance your knowledge and improve your workout. You can purchase Swiss balls online and get exercise suggestions and training guides to use with your Swiss ball.
The exercise ball was originally used for physical therapy. Swiss physical therapists started using it to train balance and reflexes in 1965. It quickly spread to other places and other therapy situations, where it was called the Swiss ball. Because of its versatility and low price, the ball soon moved into the fitness area, where it was called an exercise ball or fitness ball, among other names. But it remains an invaluable physical therapy tool.
Swiss balls, also known as exercise balls, gym balls, sports balls, therapy balls or body balls are elastic rubber balls usually 22 to 34 inches in diameter. Swiss balls provide a comfortable yet unstable surface that encourages the user to engage his or her proprioceptive organs, balance, and core muscles during activities involving the Swiss Ball.
Many free weight exercises, particularly those that work your upper body, can be performed while sitting or lying on a Swiss ball. The instability created by the Swiss ball makes the exercises more difficult, thus also exercising the deep torso muscles that are important for maintaining a good posture.
Sitting on an exercise ball creates the opportunity for “active sitting.” Active sitting will occur naturally as you subconsciously adjust your core muscles to find and maintain the best possible position for your body. Using a Swiss ball as a chair, therefore, will strengthen the core muscles, improve posture, and increase resistance to injury and repetitive strain.
Fitter1 Tip: Many free weight exercises, particularly those that work your upper body, can be performed while sitting or lying on a Swiss ball.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|