Stability balls (physioball, Swiss ball, balance ball, sports ball, yoga ball) can be found in every gym, physical therapy office, and even homes throughout the world. They are a staple in the fitness and strength and conditioning world and have numerous applications to help increase overall strength and stability. It was originally developed by an Italian plastics manufacturer in the 1960’s and were used throughout Europe because of their durability and being burst resistant. American physical therapists starting seeing their use in Switzerland (hence the term Swiss ball) and their applications started to become a major component in the physical therapy and fitness world in the late 1980’s. They have been used in a range of exercises form bench press to wall squats to abdominal crunches because of their controlled instability environment.
A stability ball can be used for an entire routine or it can be used just for specific workouts to increase the intensity. The intensity increase is due to the fact that there is added stress placed on the core to maintain proper posture and stability while working through the exercise. The effort to remain balanced engages additional muscles. Either way, there is use for them in every workout. They range in size from 30 cm for petite individuals or children to a generous 75 cm for much taller people. In order to use a stability ball safely and effectively, make sure to use the right size. Additionally, make sure the ball is inflated enough to be able to sit on it with the knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
· 4 feet, 6 inches = 30 cm ball
· 4 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet tall = 45 cm
· 5 feet to 5 feet, 5 inches = 55 cm ball
· 5 feet, 6 inches and 6 feet, 2 inches = 65 cm ball
· height exceeds 6 feet, 2 inches tall = 75 cm ball.
Check out video below to see the top five stability ball exercises that need to be added to every exercise routine.