While kettlebells, dumbbells and medicine balls are go-to pieces of workout equipment for many gym goers and PT’s, the humble exercise ball and band cannot be underestimated. They are both fantastic tools that offer many benefits to the body.
You can use exercise balls and bands in a variety of ways to help improve or regain your strength, balance, flexibility and more. These tools are very simple and easy to use by people of any age or level of fitness and provide a convenient, safe and inexpensive form of exercise equipment.
Known for their versatility, exercise balls and bands are commonly used by patients at physiotherapy clinics, and in gyms, Pilates and dance studios for both rehabilitation and exercise. In fact, they can be used before a workout to warm-up the body, during an exercise routine, and to stretch out the body post workout.
Exercise balls are commonly referred to as Swiss balls, and a bunch of other names including gym, sports, fit, stability, balance, Pilates, yoga and birth balls. If you don’t know what the deal is with those large bouncy balls, they are basically a piece of fitness equipment that is very popular for improving core strength and balance. You can choose from various colours and sizes, ranging from 45cm to 90cm in diameter, and being inflatable means they can be packed away when not in use.
There’s much more to exercise balls than being fun to sit and bounce up and down on. In fact, many people are switching their traditional office chair for an exercise ball. Sitting on an exercise ball works to engage your core and can also improve stability and posture. However, due to the lack of back support, arm rests and inability to adjust the height, it is not recommended by health professionals to sit on an exercise ball full-time.
Exercise bands basically look like long, wide rubber bands. They are available in a variety of colours, which specifies their level of resistance, from very light to very heavy. This versatile piece of equipment can be used to work any part of your body and is also portable, which makes them perfect for travel, or to have at home if you can’t make it to the gym.
Exercise bands are great for exercising specific muscle groups that gym equipment and free weights can’t target as well. They can help you to activate your glutes and build strength and flexibility and are commonly used in rehabilitation for people suffering from conditions such as knee osteoarthritis.