Exercise balls are a relatively new addition to the fitness equipment category. Exercise balls are frequently called Swiss balls because one of their first uses was by a group of physical therapists in Switzerland, and also may be referred to as stability balls, therapy balls, or gym balls. They allow the user to add a number of different back exercises and ab exercises to their home gym repertoire.
The exercise balls are large inflatable balls, usually colored blue. The user performs exercises which would normally be done on a bench or the floor, but does them while being supported by the ball. The idea is that some instability is introduced to the exercise that one would not normally experience. The body responds automatically to this instability in order to keep balanced on the ball, and over time, the muscles used to keep that balance become stronger. This means you build strength in important back muscles and abdominal muscles without really trying. You can perform many of the ab exercises or back exercises that you would do on your home gym bench or the floor on one of the exercise balls instead. There are virtually hundreds of different swiss ball exercises one can perform, each targeting an essential muscle group.
Sit on exercise balls while surfing the net
Some authorities even recommend disposing of your office chair and sitting on one of the exercise balls instead. They say the using the ball as a chair makes it harder to slouch, and encourages a slight bouncing movement that keeps leg muscles busy and eases stress. If you're not quite ready to roll an exercise ball up to your desk yet, it's possible to get a chair which incorporates a ball into its construction.
Many of the balls have a slow-deflate feature, so in case they were to be punctured, there would be no injury to the user. These balls take as long as 8-10 minutes to deflate. Exercise balls can be an inexpensive, very useful addition to your home gym. A wide variety of balls are available online in different sizes.