Joe Creek Coaching

Holistic Health & Fitness

Benefits of training with a fit ball

1) Improve your posture: if you have poor posture you will use more energy to move the body, with the fit ball you will improve your posture alignment the result being a better functional performance. In addition good posture will decrease your chances of injury during exercise and will improve your balance, agility and overall sports performance. The fit ball mirrors your imbalances back to you making the ball a great way to improve muscle conditioning.

2) Improving your balance: fit ball training can greatly improve your balance and stability. Stabiliser muscles surround the joints protecting them from injury and the neutraliser muscles ensure smooth, coordinated movements, fit ball training improves the function of both neutraliser and stabiliser musculature. Good posture and the ability to fight gravity will both contribute to the long term health of the musculoskeletal system also the improved ability to stabilise during fit ball exercises will assist you in lifting free weights with greater ease, walk more efficiently and improve muscle imbalances.

3) Gravity vs posture: people who do not fight gravity will usually have poor posture,these postural changes can result in a forward head carriage, rounded shoulders and even alterations of spinal curvatures. Certain fit ball exercises are very beneficial such as superman as this will increase the strength of your postural  muscles which will help avoid postural fatigue that encourages working or sitting for prolonged periods with progressively poorer posture. Correct training with the fit ball will achieve two inevitable results which are  an improvement in your posture and your ability to fight gravity. Most traditional gym equipment do not aid in fighting gravity as you wouldn't use much stabiliser muscle activation sitting in a machine but by practicing exercises in upright, supine (face up) or prone (face down) positions you can you can achieve to specifically load the postural muscles that aid in fighting gravity.

4) Activation of the nervous system: fit ball training provides a very high level of nervous system activation. In the playing environment you will have more reserve function. These results cannot be achieved training solely with machines. By training with a fit ball you can improve your ability to adapt to a constantly changing base of support.

5)  Strengthens core muscles: fit ball training require constant use of the core musculature, you won't use these muscles with machine training or free weight training. In addition to achieving a more functional core you will benefit from a well toned abdominal and back musculature.

6) Rehabilitative tool: The fit ball is unstable so sitting, balancing or exercising on it activates motor recruitment patterns. This is particularly beneficial for people who have had spinal surgery or suffer with back problems. People who have a disc injury in the lumbar spine or any orthopedic injury will benefit from training with a fit ball as it acts as a fantastic treatment tool. By using exercises such as the supine lateral ball roll, the supine hip extension and the forward ball roll you can exercise safely. The risk of injury is less compared to the chances of injury presented in the gym environment of seated and standing machines. This is because when you are horizontal the pressure in your spinal discs is as low as 25-35% of what it is when you are standing!  Training with the fit ball provides an environment that encourages activation of stabiliser muscles. Improving stabiliser function is essential to rapid recovery from most orthopedic injuries,not to mention preventing them! 

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