Stability balls should be a part of everyone’s home gym as they are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment used today. Also known as exercise balls, therapy balls, fitness balls, yoga balls, swiss balls, physioballs and balance balls, stability balls are an excellent way to strengthen core muscles and improve balance. Studies have even shown that they are an ideal way to help children focus inside the classroom!
What Is a Stability Ball?
A stability ball is a large rubber ball offered in multiple sizes that can even be tailored to your individual size! They can be inflated and used for working out or for sitting. The first stability ball was introduced in 1963 by Italian plastics manufacturer, Aquilino Cosani. Since then, these unique fitness balls have become a staple at fitness centers and home gyms.
Workout enthusiasts use stability balls in a variety of different ways. They can be used to improve core strength, as well as for bodyweight workouts, cardio workouts, resistance training and are often even used for yoga and pilates. Some even use these balls to improve concentration and strengthen core muscles while sitting during everyday activities, such as studying or working at a desk.
7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Own a Stability Ball
1. Stability Balls Increase the Effectiveness/Difficulty Of an Exercise
How do they increase effectiveness and difficulty of an exercise? By adding, um, instability! Seriously, your muscles will contract more frequently and engage more of your muscles by using a ball during exercise due to all the shifting required to balance on a ball. You’ll have to use muscles to stay balanced, as well as to execute the chosen exercise...and that will also require a great deal of neurological focus.
2. Stability Balls Strengthen Core Muscles
The roundness of the ball causes you to arch your back more when you lay your back on top of the ball. So, you'll get a larger range of motion when you are doing crunches and similar core exercises. And who doesn’t want to tone abdominal muscle and maintain overall core strength? Whether you’re just beginning to work on your core or are just interested in keeping it as solid as possible, a stability ball is precisely what you need.
3. Stability Balls Can Be Used to Tone the Entire Body
Beyond core muscles, stability balls can also be used in workouts targeting other parts of the body. Taking a look at our stability ball poster, you’ll see that it can be useful in toning the legs, chest, back, triceps and more. Anyone with a home gym and who appreciates a good workout will also appreciate having a stability ball handy.
4. A Stability Ball Is Affordable and Compact Home Gym Equipment
A home gym setup doesn’t have to cost a lot of money nor should it take up too much space. Whether you have a spare room to use for working out or you’re converting your living space into a workout space as needed, a stability ball is a low-cost and compact must-have piece of equipment. While most people keep theirs inflated between uses, it is entirely possible to inflate and deflate the ball whenever you need to. Each ball is maintenance-free and designed to last for a very, very long time.
5. Exercising on a ball is just more fun!
There is something just more entertaining about working out with the childlike motion of the stability balls. You are rolling and building the physique of your choice. And because the balls are fun, they work well with all ages, all fitness levels and can even be used by special populations.
6. Stability Balls Help Improve Balance, Coordination and Athletic/Sports Performance
Engaging in exercise on a fitness ball requires concentrated effort. To do so, one must engage the core and other muscles (depending on the exercise) in order to properly distribute the body’s weight. Doing so over time naturally improves balance and muscle flexibility. Stability ball movements also create better body awareness. This can lower your risk of injury because you’ll be less likely to turn an ankle when you’re knocked off balance.
7. Stability Balls Are Great For Just Sitting!
Many have opted to replace office and computer chairs with stability balls, instead. Research has shown that this is a good way to improve balance and strengthen core muscles while working at your desk. Studies have even indicated that sitting on stability balls help children focus better in the classroom. What other exercise equipment serves such a useful function in your home gym as well as your home office?
Now, Over to You
Do you use a stability ball in your home gym? Do you sit on one while working or watching television? Did we miss any reasons why everyone should own one? Drop us a note and let us know what you use your stability ball for and how effective it has been for you.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for ways to maximize the use of your stability ball during your workouts, check out our stability ball workout poster. Finely illustrated and featuring 33 challenging exercises, our poster will help you turn your exercise routine into overdrive!