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  • Swiss Ball

Swiss Ball

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A Swiss ball, also known as a Swiss Ball, is a ball constructed of soft elastic with a diameter of approximately 35 to 85 centimeters (14 to 34 inches) and filled with air. The air pressure is changed by removing a valve stem and either filling with air or letting the ball deflate. It is most often used in physical therapy, athletic training and exercise. It can also be used for weight training. The ball, while often referred to as a Swiss ball, is also known by a number of different names, including balance ball, birth ball, body ball, ball, fitness ball, gym ball, gymnastic ball, physio ball, pilates ball, Pezzi ball, stability ball, Swedish ball, therapy ball, or yoga ball.

The physical object known as a “Swiss Ball” was developed in 1963 by Aquilino Cosani, an Italian plastics manufacturer. He perfected a process for moulding large puncture-resistant plastic balls.[1] Those balls, then known as “Pezzi balls”, were first used in treatment programs for newborns and infants by Mary Quinton, a British physiotherapist working in Switzerland. Later, Dr. Susanne Klein-Vogelbach, the director at the Physical Therapy School in Basel, Switzerland, integrated the use of ball exercise as physical therapy for neuro-developmental treatment. Based on the concept of “functional kinetics”,[2] Klein-Vogelbach advocated the use of ball techniques to treat adults with orthopedic or medical problems. The term “Swiss Ball” was used when American physical therapists began to use those techniques in North America after witnessing their benefits in Switzerland.[3] From their development as physical therapy in a clinical setting, those exercises are now used in athletic training,[4] as part of a general fitness routine [5] and incorporation in alternative exercises such as yoga and Pilates.[6]

in 2012, Neil Whyte completed the record for the fastest time 10 Swiss balls have been jumped across at 8.31 seconds.The record for the farthest jump between two Swiss balls was also made by Neil at a distance of 2.3 meters in 2012 [7]

A primary benefit of exercising with an exercise ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles.[8] Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance. Most frequently, the core body muscles — the abdominal muscles and back muscles — are the focus of exercise ball fitness programs.[9]

A major benefit of using an unstable surface is the ability to recruit more muscle units without the need to increase the total load. The greatest benefit of moving an exercise onto an unstable surface is achieving a greater activation of the core musculature, exercises such as curl-up or push-up performed on an exercise ball.[10] An unstable surface increases activation of the rectus abdominus and allows for greater activity per exercise when compared to a stable surface. Exercises such as a curl-up on an exercise ball yields a greater amount of electromyography (EMG) activity compared to exercises on a stable platform.[11] Performing standard exercises, such as a push-up, on an unstable surface can be used to increase activation of core trunk stabilizers and in turn provide increased trunk strength and greater resistance to injury.[12]

Product Description

Swiss balls are large, heavy-duty inflatable balls with a diameter of 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 inches). The Swiss ball is also known by a number of different names, including exercise ball, gym ball, Pilate’s ball, sports ball, fit or fitness ball, stability ball, therapy ball, yoga ball, balance ball, body ball, or birth ball.
Swiss balls offer you a fun, safe and highly effective way to exercise. They will last for a very long time and are inexpensive compared to other exercise equipment.

Where did Swiss Ball come from?

The Swiss ball was used as early as the 1960s. It originally was used by physical therapists and chiropractors in Switzerland to assist with rehabilitation and became known as the Swiss Ball.

Through seminars and classes, the Swiss Ball was introduced into the USA in the early 1980’s. But, the Swiss Ball is far more versatile and valuable than simply for re-hab use. In the late 1980’s coaches, athletic trainers and personal trainers realized the effectiveness of the Swiss Ball in developing balance and core strength. Since then they are reported as being the most effective method for core conditioning.

Why should one use?

Swiss balls are one of today’s top fitness tools – and for good reason! Using a Swiss ball will improve the strength of the abs and the lower back. Since the Swiss ball is unstable you have to constantly adjust your balance, which in turn will improve your balance, proprioception, and flexibility. As an extra challenge, you can use the exercise ball as a bench using free-weights to target those hard to reach stabilizer muscles.

strength training and bodybuilding

Proper Alignment
Using the Swiss ball during training will utilize many additional muscles to maintain stability and balance. Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment, which can greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength. The alignment of your body is also improved when the proper balance is maintained.
Great Abs
An abdominal crunch on the fitness ball has been scientifically proven to work your abs better than a regular crunch. For people working out to achieve great abs, the Swiss ball can definitely target the abdominal areas as the abs and back muscles are simultaneously worked.
Muscle Strength and Endurance
The Swiss ball can improve muscle strength and endurance in all of the major muscle groups. Training with the stability ball can help in alleviating back pain and preventing pain in the future. As all the major muscle groups are exercised, tone, strength, and endurance are improved as well as flexibility and balance.
Core Stability
Swiss balls are less stable than traditional fitness equipment so you can also greatly improve your balance, coordination and core strength in your abs and back. The major muscles that help stabilize and support all of your body movements are made up of the back and the deep abdominal muscles. With the Swiss ball no matter how “deep” these muscles are, they are still exercised. This is something only the ball can guarantee.
Stretching
A Swiss ball is a great tool for stretching exercises. With this, you can easily move into and move out of different stretching positions. Training with the Swiss ball will restore or improve your flexibility.
Losing Weight
Any exercise that strengthens your muscles will help to reduce body fat. With regular exercise using the stability ball, you will also lose weight!

 

 

woman on Swiss pro ball
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