Fitness balls (also known as Swiss balls) have become popular in the last five to ten years. They are made from strong rubber or vinyl material into different sizes and can easily hold a person’s weight. Fitness balls can be used in a variety of ways to assist in building health and fitness – and bring a bit of fun into staying active.
Information on the value of incorporating fitness balls into your activity plan emphasises the development of core stabilising muscles. While this terminology may sound strange, it refers to the deep abdominal muscles that provide the support we need for posture and balance in everyday activities. Fitness balls provide an ‘unstable’ environment, meaning that our muscles and nervous system must work a little bit harder to stay balanced. Developing the strength of your core stabilizing muscles means that you will benefit by improving posture, back health and help prevent injuries.
Depending on the type of exercises you do using your fitness ball, you may also develop better balance, cardiovascular fitness and strength in other muscle groups (eg. muscles of the arms and legs).
If you want to learn more about trying out a fitness ball for your exercise, we recommend you contact a Registered Fitness Leader or a gymnasium, which offers qualified personal training or holds fitness ball classes. It is important to receive accurate guidance when beginning a new physical activity.