Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Exercise and Swiss Ball Workouts

Exercise and Swiss Ball Workouts
By []Mike Singh

For those of you who are not familiar with the name, a Swiss Ball is a large plastic exercise ball that is used for a variety of fitness workouts. They are generally preferred by people who are looking to put strengthen their core muscles while improving their balance.

Let's clear something up. You may also be familiar with gym balls, sports balls, fitness balls, therapy balls, yoga balls or body balls. These are all different names for these exercise balls and just go to show how many different types of workout you can use them with.

The main advantage of the exercise ball, and the reason so many different types of workout can be used with them, is that they can provide instability and a loss of balance to a huge number of simple exercises. Imagine a very simple exercise on a hard surface or mat. Now imagine doing them while sitting or leaning on an exercise ball. You will constantly have to maintain your balance and make small adjustments to your position. This utilises a host of smaller and less utilised muscles that usually never get any exercise at all. Over time these muscles will get a lot stronger and you will notice real improvements in strength.

Exercise balls are used a lot as parts of therapy programs and to treat lower back pains, precisely for this reason. They can help you to develop better control and strength in your back and stomach. They can also increase you flexibility and back mobility so that if you find it difficult to move sometimes, they can be of great help in your exercise routines. You should also notice increased strength in your abdominal muscles. This is part of the reason that the balls are becoming so popular with women. As more and more women are working on their stomachs, they are switching to any type of routine that will improve their results in this single area.

If you fancy a very simple exercise, then you can even use a Swiss ball instead of a chair. Because the ball is constantly moving, it forces you to engage some back and abdominal muscles constantly so that you are not just sitting there, but are getting a good workout while you do it.

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