|Core/Spinal Stabilisers is the buzzword attached to the ball. The core stabilisers are deep abdominal muscles that partially wrap around the spine. They play a very important role in good posture and back care.
So apart from being effective, versatile and safe to use as part of your exercise program, an exercise ball has a huge role to play in injury prevention. Back pain is a growing problem in North America and is linked with our increasingly sedentary lifestyle and the use of computers at school and work. Balls are good to sit on as an alternative, back-friendly seat, so that you are training the deep muscles on a daily basis.
Core/Spinal Stabilisation refers to the interaction of deep spinal muscles (quadratus lumborum, internal oblique deep fibres, transversus abdominus, multifidus.) which support the spine during our normal daily activity.
The more visible muscles, rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques, all contribute to the highly regarded "6-pack", however they do not support the spine during sport or work. It is only when training is carried out in an unstable environment, such as on the ball, that the deep core stabilisers are brought into play. The stabilisers are strengthened in a very functional manner, ready to provide a strong platform for the wide range of movement needed in sport and daily life. Many trainers and fitness professionals have now realised the important role that core stabilisers play in preventing injury, improving posture and appearance and they are incorporating exercises for this important muscle group into training or fitness programmes.
The best method of improving core stability is to train in an unstable environment. So at the heart of the exercise ball concept is the ball's instability and mobility. Exercise ball is a dynamic tool. Performing traditional exercises (eg biceps curls) on the ball call in the deep stabilisers, resulting in training of both the biceps and the postural muscles. This has an overflow effect on posture and contributes to injury prevention in everyday life. Using the ball's mobility allows you to do excellent stretches and increase flexibility.
The most important aspect of exercising the core stabilisers is PREVENTION. Exercise ball is the tool that can prevent sport and back injuries across a wide fitness and age range. For adults and children, whether at work, the health club, or school, strengthening your core stabilising is easy, simply by using a big, round ball. The simplest way of using an exercise ball for prevention of back injury is to use it as a chair, commonly known as 'Active Sitting'. Active sitting is a practical way of incorporating core stabilisation into daily life. There are many benefits in utilising an exercise ball as seats: decreased back strain, improved concentration and better posture.
Long-term endurance training of spinal stabilisers will work towards the prevention of postural problems, back pain and sport injuries. For employers, a small investment in preventative back care will reap large rewards.