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Pilates on the Ball

Intro to Pilates on the Ball following the Summer Sessions

During some of the extra summer sessions, we enjoyed a few Pilates classes that included the use of a Stability Ball. Other names used for these balls are Swiss Ball or Fitball.


The balls are still used in most gyms and a few years ago they were very popular. Now they seem to gather dust. This is a shame, because they are a very usefull tool in staying fit, easy to use and fun!

And if you did not invest in a ball at the height of it's popularity, now is a good time to buy one. You can pick one up in major supermarkets, etc for around £5.


To help you get started, I have described some of the basics here and included ideas for some exercises under the tab.

As always: keep it safe and within your own capabilities!!




General Information


Advantages of exercising with Stability Ball:
-          Working core muscles which:
o   Improves posture
o   Builds frame from which all movements start
o   Improves balance and muscle coordination
o   Creates bigger control over movement
o   Increase ability to change direction
-          Full body work-out with only 1 piece of equipment
-          Ball can be deflated for transportation, so exercise equipment can travel with you
-          Lots of different exercises possible to keep work-out interesting
Stability Ball Safety:
-          To inflate follow manufacturers guidelines
-          Use only on safe level ground
-          Wear shoes with non-slip soles or barefoot
-          Avoid contact with sharp objects or sources of heat
-          Make sure that the space where you exercise is clear with no obstructions
-          Do not use near stairs or treadmills
-          Make sure small children and pets are out of the way
Stability Ball Technique:
-          Read exercise carefully and ask if in doubt
-          Always warm-up before a main exercise session and end with a cool-down
-          Keep neutral spine:
o   Hips in line with shoulders
o   Relaxed shoulders – push down
o   Pull in chin, lengthen back of the neck
o   Zip up stomach – contract transverse abdominals
-          Keep your knee above your foot
-          When holding a position, remember to keep breathing
-          Works slow, stay in control of the movement at all times
-          Works within own capabilities. Only progress to next stage, when you are able to do the previous stage without problems
-          Stop when you get tired and lose form
If you are in doubt if an exercise program is right for you/ your medical condition, always seek medical advise before starting the program.

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