Whilst many of you will have come across these in a gym for strength, and cardio endurance, it can just a easily be used for improving balance, increasing or reducing muscle tone, automatic postural muscle activation, improving our sensory feedback and co-ordination.
It’s a particularly useful as a gateway into changing poor or dysfunctional movement patterns which when altered often allow you to access mobility and function that you didn’t realise you had.
Ah well I hear you say ‘it can’t help me I’m not into sports……. Well let me change your mind …..a gym ball can be used on a wide variety of age groups from young children, normal non-sporty people right through to the older generation and obviously the sports group.
My eldest patient to date has been my own mum of 90 years old to help rehabilitate an ankle injury, improve balance and thereby improve her movement patterns and posture... .and worked a treat!
It certainly doesn’t involve standing on a ball but what it does do is to help rehabilitate poor methods of movement and posture by working through our nervous system and balance and support mechanisms and thus also prevent further injury.
So, what should you look for first of all in a ball? Size and quality are the two most important factors. The size you need is entirely dependent on your own height, below is a guide:
1. When sitting upright on an exercise ball
- Feet should be flat on the floor - with an even weight distribution.
- Knees should be level or slightly lower than the pelvis - creating an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater at the hips and knees (thighs parallel to ground or pointing down slightly).
- Pelvis, shoulders, and ears should be in a vertical line - the body should not be leaning in any direction as a counterbalance, but relaxed Bouncing up and down lightly thorough the feet will usually produce this alignment.
So, come on unlock and reach your full potential and try a ball, you will be amazed what and how fast you can make changes.
Item by Jane Morris, Owner.