Exercising with a Gym (Fitness) Ball

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 17, 2012

You would have seen them lying around the gym and would have often wondered what kind of exercises one does with a gym ball and how could it help in toning the body. These gym balls also known as fitness balls are big blown-up spheres made of PVC material are used to carry out a number of workouts for every muscle of the body.


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The Swiss ball or the physio ball as it is alternatively known as is an amazing piece of workout equipment which can be used by individuals to exercise every major muscle category in the body in all stages of fitness. The gym ball is also effective in adding to the dimension of core strength to one's exercise regimen.

If you have always wanted to try out a gym fitness ball, but had no idea from where to begin; here are a couple of gym ball exercises to get you going:

  • Sit Around:
    A perfect exercise starter for beginners, the gym ball can be used to play around or simply to sit on, in the gym.

    It can be used to practice some simple moves and stretch a few muscles. Although sitting on the gym ball may sound fairly simple and nondescript, doing so is anything but easy! Maintaining a balance on the gym ball while you sit is a thorough challenge to the body
  • Twisting and Crunching:
    Gym ball exercises are primarily used to concentrate on abdominal exercises. The gym ball can be used to maintain a pose as you continue with your twists and crunches. The gym ball is extremely effective in encouraging muscle movement when you include twists and crunches in your exercise regimen. The gym ball causes the crunches in the midsection to exercise more and in an effective manner

Most upper body exercises performed with the help of dumbbells could be carried out on a gym ball to contribute to an added level of difficulty. In some exercises, the gym ball is used as a seat or workbench.

Some important benefits of exercising with the help of a Gym ball or a Fitness Ball:

  • Builds and tones muscles
  • Tones the deeper abdominal muscles
  • Alleviates lower back pain
  • Improves flexibility
  • Great for stretching and warm up activities
  • Convenience and ease of use
  • Can be used at the home, gym, or office
  • Aids in aerobic exercise
  • Helps in Back care/physical therapy
  • For overall fitness levels
  • Improves functional activity
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness level
  • Alleviates and controls stress

Some precautions to be taken with the gym ball:

  • Refrain from exercising if you are constantly falling off the exercise ball
  • Stop using the gym ball if your pain increases with the exercise
  • Stop using the gym ball you have acute pain in your back
  • Do not use the gym ball if you have any spine injuries
  • Do not use the gym ball if you have a spinal condition
  • It is always good to have a trainer with you especially if you are a beginner
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