The fitball was first devised in Switzerland during the mid 20th century. Hence, it is also known as a 'Swiss ball'. It was initially used in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from cerebral palsy. It was introduced in the United States for the rehabilitation of patients with locomotor system injuries. The main objective of fitball exercises is to ease the strain on the spinal cord and relieve the stress from the joints. This is the reason it has become hugely popular among overweight individuals and people suffering from joint disorders and varicose veins.
These exercises can easily be done by both the young and old alike. The ball comes in different diameters, and one has to choose the correct size depending on one's height. Check out some great core exercises in the section given below that you can do with the help of a fitball.
Core Exercises Using Fitball
This exercise is called 'crunch, reach, and pass'
. To do this exercise, lie down with your back on the exercise mat. Outstretch your hands above your head and hold the stability ball in your hand. In a controlled motion, raise your torso up, as though you are doing a sit up. At the same time raise your feet off the floor as well and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Slowly come back to the starting position with the fitball in between your feet. Now repeat the same motion, but this time, you will pass the ball from your feet to your hands.
We will do lunges on the fitball. Place the ball at a wall and stand in front of the ball. Very carefully, place your one leg on the ball with your toes curled under. The shin of your leg should be well rested on the ball. Now, place the front leg as far as possible, but make sure you are able to maintain your balance. Then lower yourself slowly till the thigh of the feet in front is parallel to the floor. Come back to the starting position to repeat the exercise for 10-12 repetitions on the current leg and then, do the same with the other leg as well.
This is a wonderful exercise to work the back of your thighs (hamstrings). Lie on the floor, place your hands next to you and your ankles should rest on the fitball. Raise your buttocks off the floor and slowly roll the ball towards your back till your knees are placed above the hips. Then slowly roll the ball back to the starting position.
Now, we will see an upper body exercise. Lie on the ball with you facing the floor. Roll forward over the ball, till you come in the push up position, with your feet firmly placed on the ball. Now, start lowering your body and stop before your chest touches the floor. Come back to the starting position and repeat the exercise 10-12 times.
Now, we will see how to do dips with the fitball. Place the ball against a wall and sit on the ball with your hands resting next to the hips. Step your legs forward so that your buttocks are not resting on the ball. The weight of your body should be resting on the palms of your hand and on your feet. Lower yourself till your thighs come to knee height. Making use of the triceps muscles, push back to the starting position.
Now, let's see an exercise for the abdominal area. Start with sitting on the ball and roll the ball till your lower back is resting on the ball. Snug in your belly towards the spine, slowly curl your upper body, and come to a position half way up. Hold in the position and return to the starting position. When you are doing this exercise, it is recommended that you use your hands to support your neck, otherwise, there may be chances of getting neck spasms.
You might find it difficult to do these exercises initially as the ball tends to slide and roll away. However, with practice, you will be able to do them effectively. You will have to be patient and persistent when you do these exercises. Stay healthy!