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If you have ever exercised in a yoga or Pilates studio, you have most likely seen and used a stability ball. This piece of exercise equipment is a large rubber ball that is also often referred to as an exercise ball. While sizes of a stability ball can vary with function and use, the most common diameter ranges between 55 to 65 centimeters (21.6 to 25.5 inches).
Stability balls, or exercise balls, are large and inflatable rubber items that are used for strength training, stretching and core muscle exercises. Proper instructions or hands-on training is imperative before using an exercise ball in order to avoid injury and get the most out of every stretch and movement that is performed. This necessity for proper instructions is the reason why some gym’s instructors are specially trained in using and performing exercises on stability balls. In fact, stability balls are so common in public and personal gyms around the globe that there are often posters and brochures available to teach the skills for appropriate use.
Despite how quickly the stability ball has become a common piece of equipment in both public and personal gyms and specialized exercise studios, many people choose to purchase their own exercise ball and reserve it for personal use. There are many benefits to owning your own exercise ball, including hygiene and availability. Plus, stability balls are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at your local sporting goods store.
Stability balls are mainly used for performing exercises that strengthen core muscles; however, they are many people who have found them useful in developing and increasing balance. In fact the exercise ball is so effective in increasing balance that they are also frequently used in the world of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Rehabilitation, physical therapy, strength training and increasing balance are not the only uses for stability balls. In different countries throughout Europe, stability balls have been used in schools as chairs. Many benefits have been reported to using stability balls as chairs, including improved focus, better organization and improved posture.
Regardless of how a stability ball is used, it is important to find a high quality and durable ball; beware of cheap imitations. Cheap exercise balls made pop or break after only a few uses. The best stability balls are made from a durable and extra thick rubber material and come in a variety of colors.