Exercise Balls: Types, Advantages And Exemplary Exercises

Exercise balls are instruments recommended by trainers and physiotherapists for general development training and rehabilitation. Perfectly suited for independent exercise at home: they are easy to use, cheap, do not burden the spine and can be trained by anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. See what advantages individual types of balls have, e.g. fit ball, medical, tennis, bosu and try out sample exercises.

Exercise balls are available in many sizes and types: from lightweight as a feather of ping-pong balls to heavy, several-kilogram balls of medicine. Some, in addition to the basic application in team games (eg tennis ball) can be used for general exercise, rehabilitation and auto-massage. The basic task of such balls is to loosen or strengthen selected muscle parts. They perform best in deep and paraspinal muscles training.

Check what are the advantages of the different types of balls and which exercises can be used.

Fit Ball

Fit ball (gym ball) is the most popular type of ball used for fitness and rehabilitation exercises. Its classic version is between 56 and 75 cm in diameter and is made of flexible PVC rubber. Fit ball has a whole range of applications: with it, you can strengthen your muscles, loosen up, massage, correct posture defects and treat spinal and osteoarticular pain. It is perfectly suited to deep muscle training, that is, responsible for the correct posture.

From time to time, it is worth to include exercises with a gym ball for your training plan - performing even simple exercises, eg crunches or sit-ups with the ball, relieves the spine and, to a greater extent, engages the stabilizing muscles.

Medical Ball

Most people remember practicing the medicine ball only from school and do not return to them in their adult life.This is a big mistake, because training with this device can be more versatile and effective than practicing on expensive equipment. Due to the fact that the ball is round and has no stabilized center of gravity, the muscles have to do a lot more work to maintain it. In addition, the abdomen, buttocks and back must be constantly strained so that the silhouette does not sway. All this makes the ball medicine exercises one of the most effective and healthiest for the spine.

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Exercise With A Medicine Ball: Torso Curves With Moving The Ball

Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Place the ball on the right side of the body next to the hips. Open the torso back slightly and strain the abdominal muscles. Bend your knees to an obtuse angle and raise your feet a few centimeters above the ground. Twisting the whole torso grab the ball with both hands and move it to the left side - exhale at the same time. Put the inhaler away and move the medical ball to the right side the next time you exhale. Perform 10 such turns in 2 series.

Tennis Ball

A tennis ball, despite its name, can be used not only to play tennis.Her other application is a rehabilitation massage, which can be carried out independently. The purpose of this massage is to remove tension from a given area of the body by moving the ball along the selected muscle. Under pressure, the muscles relax and stretch, which eliminates pain symptoms. Massage with a tennis ball works well for chronic foot pains in runners. They are particularly exposed to problems with so-called a plantar fasciitis. It is an elongated band of connective tissue running under the soles of the feet - from heels to toes. Its damage occurs as a result of excessive calf muscles tension or impaired foot cushioning function. Plantar fasciitis involves placing one foot on a tennis ball and moving it from the heel to the toes and back. It is important to press the foot hard enough to the ball. After two minutes, we change the leg.

Such a massage can also be performed by people who often complain of leg ache and fatigue. Then we do not stand on the ball, but put it under the foot, for example sitting on the sofa or at the desk. Pressure on the muscle is smaller then, but the massage has better relaxing properties.

Pilates Ball (Soft Ball)

Pilates ball is about 25 cm in diameter and is made of PVC rubber. It is mainly used for spine stabilizing and relaxing exercises. It can be applied under a selected area of the body, for example a leg, pelvis, chest section and thus relax the muscles or strengthen them.

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Strengthening Exercise With A Pilates Ball: The Curls Of The Hips On The Ball

Lie on your back, bend your legs and lift them up. Put a small pilates ball under the tail bone. Hands stretch out along the body. Make your right and left hip curves, resting your loins on the ball. Remember the tight stomach and the right breath.

Relaxing exercise with a pilates ball: relaxation of the ilio-lumbar muscles

Lie on your back and put the ball under your buttocks. Pull your arms over your head, straighten your legs. Relax, calm your breath. Stay in this position for about 2 minutes.


Bosu is a two-sided exercise device resembling a ball cut in half. One side is flat, the other has the shape of a dome. Bosu training consists in balancing the entire body to maintain balance on the convex hemisphere. This kind of effort helps to stabilize the figure and strengthen the deep muscles. On the bosu you can perform different types of training - peripheral, functional, interval. You can also use the device to diversify traditional exercises, such as sit-ups, crunches, excursions - thanks to this we will involve more muscles to work.

A Ping-Pong Ball

The smallest and lightest exercise ball, or ping-pong ball, also has several unconventional applications. Works well in corrective exercises activating abdominal muscles and paraspinal muscles. They consist in precisely moving the ball on a specific track or holding it up with the help of the feet. This type of exercise, in addition to the fact that it positively affects the stabilization of the figure, improves coordination and balance.

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Exercise With A Ping-Pong Ball: A Candle

Place the ball between your feet and lie on your back. Hands stretch out along the body. Slowly lift the legs and hips up - in the final phase of the exercise should be at right angles to the ground. Keep trying to hold the ball firmly all the time so that it does not fall. Stay in this position for a few seconds, then calmly lower your hips first, then your legs down.

Exercise With A Ping-Pong Ball: An Exercise On The Back Muscles

Lie on your stomach. Lift your head and shoulders a few centimeters above the ground. Put the ball in front of you, stretch your arms forward and bend your elbows. Roll the ball with your hands from right to left side and back, making sure it does not run away. Do not lean on your hands. Perform the exercise for 20-30 seconds.

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