Aquilino Cosani, an Italian manufacturer, created the Swiss Ball or better known today as the exercise ball. The colorful Swiss Ball made of burst resistant vinyl was sold all throughout Europe under the brand names Gymnic or Gymnastik. Today you can purchase your very own in any color or size and it can even be delivered to your door.
Exercise balls can be a lot of fun and their uses are endless. I have two different exercise balls at home; one is smaller and silver, the other is larger and gold. Over the years I have found many different ways of using them besides the obvious. Here are my top four reasons why I think they’re awesome to have:
Sitting; while engaging the core muscles can help with balance, improve posture, and increase the sense of where your body is in space. I wouldn’t recommend having the ball replace an actual chair just because of ergonomics and it is actually nice to have an office chair that has a back. To have the option to sit in either a chair while at work or use the exercise ball just to shake things up is brilliant.
Working out: you can get some intense work outs! I have a DVD I like to use at home that came with my silver ball. The good DVD’s will also show modifications while using the balls just in case you have some injury preventing you from doing certain exercises (i.e. if you have knee or hip implants).
Stretching: you can go as in-depth as you want with the ball. I’ve been able to do palate poses with my ball that I couldn’t do on my own. Bonus points if you give yourself mini stretching breaks while at work. Lying prone (on your stomach) on top of the exercise ball stretches the low back in a way that is difficult to replicate.
Entertainment: sitting while watching TV, playing video games (I like to bounce on mine while waiting for screens to load), is fun and more engaging than just sitting on the couch or chair. I’ll even try to do different exercises during commercial or loading screen breaks and race against the time it takes for either to finish.
Not sure what all you can do with an exercise ball and it didn’t come with a helpful DVD or guide? I highly recommend YouTube. There are so many channels and YouTubers that provide very helpful information. Whether you’re new to using an exercise ball or a pro looking for some innovation; YouTube has changed the way we share information like stretching techniques and simple exercise routines. A lot of the videos that are available are simple and to the point. What’s even better is that YouTube remains a FREE service and you can create your own playlist.