One of the more versatile pieces of at-home exercise equipment is also one of the simplest. Inflatable exercise balls come in a variety of sizes, weights and colors, and can be used for everything from a soft support for yoga poses to a substitute for weighted dumbbells. Understanding the advantages of exercise balls in personal fitness helps you decide whether you want to make them a part of your home workout routine.
Relieve back pain
Exercise balls are often used in rehabilitation for lower back pain because they help to strengthen the core muscles that stabilize the spine. Adding an exercise ball to floor workouts adds an element of instability, causing core muscles to work at maintaining balance. Over time, this strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and improves stability and posture, which can make a huge improvement in lower back pain.
Sit around and reap the benefits
An appropriately chosen exercise ball can be used as a chair while working in your office or sitting in front of the TV. Staying balanced on the ball is a challenge for your muscles and an easy way to improve your posture. When you get used to balancing, try doing simple exercises while sitting on your exercise ball. Be sure to choose a ball that is appropriate for your height, burst-proof and one that will support your weight.
Yoga and flexibility
An exercise ball can be used to modify yoga and Pilates poses, adding a new dimension to the workout. Use it to support yourself during a pose you haven't mastered yet, or add extra difficulty by incorporating balance on the ball into the exercise.
Try throwing an exercise ball back and forth with a friend (or bounce it off a wall) to work out your arms and upper body. Use both hands to hold the ball to your chest and then push outwards to throw it. You'll feel like you're just playing catch, but you'll actually be getting some great exercise.
Core training is the latest rage in the fitness industry, but not many people really understand what it is. There are many misconceptions about what it is and how it works. People know that core training is smarter training, but they may not realize why that is.
Whether you want to improve your balance or develop killer abdominal muscles, core strength training is your ticket to a stronger you.
You don't need fancy equipment to build strength in your abdominals and lower back. Instead, try these five core exercises that do not require fitness equipment.