Look around any gym and you’ll see them bouncing around, and it seems like everyone wants a go. See, exercise ball exercises look like fun. Too many routines, too often make the focus” no pain no gain” and bore us to tears in the process, but fun isn’t just a bonus.
Your workout routine is only any good if you actually use it, and you are way more likely to do that if you are enjoying yourself. Mental stimulation and variety can be a huge part of a successful workout program and exercise ball exercises seem to be able to provide this.
But do exercise ball exercises actually deliver or is that bundle of fun just a distraction from the serious business of getting results. Let’s consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
The exercise ball gives you the ability to add a new twist to old exercises and even to try some brand new ones.
The novelty factor
The ball can turn a humdrum exercise into something new so you get to re-engage your brain while working your body from new angles. The variety can help you stick with a routine instead of giving up.
They are low-cost
There are lots of expensive bits of exercise equipment you could blow a lot of money on. An exercise ball isn’t one of them.
You can focus on stability and core strength
It’s not called the stability ball for nothing. To balance yourself you must constantly adapt and adjust to maintain a balanced platform to perform the exercise from. This stimulates brain and body placing a new challenge on your stabilizer muscles.
The promise is improved coordination and core strength- ie better functionality, better posture and a firmer flatter stomach.
The cons of the exercise ball
The need for supervision
To learn and perform the exercises correctly and safely you will probably need supervision or at the least instruction. That is probably going to cost you money. Is it worth it?
Lose your balance and you could go bump!
Loss of focus
Struggling to keep your balance can detract from the actual exercise you are performing, meaning you get less out of it. One of the principles of body design is knowing where to focus your energy, if all your focus is on not falling over, what about the muscles the exercise should be targeting?
Big bouncy balls are fun, but they do take up more than their fair share of room. At home you have to find a place to keep it, in the gym you may find yourself struggling for a place to workout.
You don’t need a ball to work your core
Seriously the key to a lean flat stomach isn’t hours of constant work. It’s the right eating plan and little bit of the right kind of exercise. Core is a buzzword and it sells a lot of PT sessions, but you can get more out of less work.
So there are the pros and cons of the exercise ball. Should you use it? You decide. The most important thing is to be safe and to find a form of exercise you enjoy that is effective and efficient too. When you do you will be having a ball whether you are using one or not.