Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Using a Stability Ball for Six Pack Abs

Using a Stability Ball for Six Pack Abs
By []Andrew Bicknell

The stability ball became a prominent part of the exercise world back in the 1990's. Although various types of balls had been used as rehabilitation devices for years it wasn't until trainers started using them in the last decade of the twentieth century that their popularity rose.

Stability balls, sometimes called a Swiss Ball, come in different sizes and are made of a heavy duty vinyl product that when filled with air can hold up to 600 to 700 pounds. They can be used by just about anybody, from the exercise novice to more experienced denizens of the gym.

There are six benefits to be had when using a stability ball.

1. Proper Body Alignment - The body will use muscle groups not normally taxed during training sessions with the ball. Natural motor reflexes will improve as these different muscle groups are forced to work as you maintain balance on the ball. That is the challenge posed by the ball, maintaining balance while exercising. As balance is improved alignment of body parts is enhanced.

2. Great Ab Workout - One of the great things about using one of these balls is the ability to target the abdominal muscles. Maintaining balance while exercising with a stability ball forces the abs and back muscles to work overtime because these muscle groups tie the upper and lower body together. Without strong core muscles' balancing is much harder.

3. Stronger Muscles and Endurance - Because the ball helps target nearly all muscle groups it helps build strength, tone muscles and improve overall endurance. It also helps strengthen the back alleviating some forms of back pain and helps with over all flexibility.

4. Core Strength - The core muscles include the back and all the abdominals. These are the muscles that support and stabilize the body during all movements. By using the ball all these muscles are worked in all range of motion, ensuring a strong core.

5. Stretching - The ball enables a range of stretching motions that normally aren't possible.

6. Weight Loss - As with any exercise routine, using a stability ball will increase metabolism which helps burn away excess body fat. This fat burning ability is further enhanced by the lean muscle mass built during exercise.

The stability ball is one of the best ways to strengthen the abdominals and lower back while also improving the functional strength, balance, and flexibility of the body.

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