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Using an exercise ball
Core workout : a definitive guide to Swiss ball training for athletes, coaches, & fitness professionals
Joanne Elphinston & Paul Pook.
Chichester, England : Lotus, 2010.
This book is an expert guide to Swiss Ball training for core stability. It is used by top athletes and fitness professionals across a wide range of sports. Swiss Ball training can enhance essential stability and control for your sport.
     
Fitness ball drills
Paul Collins.
Aachen, UK : Meyer & Meyer Sports, 2007.
Fitness Ball Drills is a user-friendly exercise guide for achieving a stronger, leaner and more flexible body. The Fitness Ball (or Swiss Ball) has been designed specifically for the demands of rigorous exercise. Today, it is one of the most utilized pieces of gym and fitness equipment used throughout the world to tone, stretch and strengthen the whole body. It is widely used by individuals involved in exercise, sports, personal training and rehabilitation, as well as Pilates, yoga and group exercise classes.
     
Swiss ball core workout
Declan Condron.
New York : Sterling Pub. Co., c2006.
Two inspired ideas join forces: the Swiss exercise ball and the concept of a workout for all the muscles of the body core. Working out while sitting or lying on the inflatable ball—which comes in sizes from 18 to 30 inches—stimulates the sense of equilibrium and promotes synergy between muscle groups. The workouts, which use dumbbells or ankle weights to tone muscles and promote weight loss, also build better coordination, improve posture, and equalize the tensions that cause stiffness and back pain. The wide choice of routines—all of which include strength and cardio—provide an exciting change from traditional weight training. Fitness buffs will get results…and have a ball!
     

Using an exercise ball can strengthen core body muscles, increase your sense of balance and tone your entire body.

Exercise balls come in different sizes. The correct size for you is determined by your height:

under 4'8"   - 42cm ball
4'8" - 5'3"  - 55cm ball
5'4" - 5'10" - 65cm ball
5'10" - 6'4" - 75cm ball
No need to worry about weight. The 75cm ball can hold up to 600 pounds.

Choosing the right ball

The core body muscles are located in your abdominal and back areas and help maintain stability in your body. These muscles protect your spine and help with everyday activities such as lifting, bending or throwing. Your body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles to do so. Over time those muscles become stronger to keep balance.

Intergrating an exercise ball as part of a fitness program can include a wide range of difficulty levels, each requiring support from the back and stomach muscles that help firm up those mid-section muscles. Exercise balls are commonly used as part of a physical therapy program for individuals with low back pain. Training on the ball helps all groups improve their fitness level. Seniors can improve their circulation, moms-to-be can stay flexible, and athletes can improve sport techniques.

You can benefit your ball workout by adding weights to your routine. Hand weights can increase lean body mass, ankle weights can tone your legs and dumbbells can build muscles. Heavy balls ranging in size of a tennis ball to a basketball can provide toning to the muscles in your hands and wrists.

The exercise ball is one piece of exercise equipment where you can do weight training, aerobic workouts, pilates and yoga.

More about exercise balls

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff