If you are looking for exercises that can help you get rid of back and neck pain, your search ends here! Here are the best stability ball exercises you must try.
Are you tired of seeking relief from the discomfort caused by back and neck pain? Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle, coupled with long hours in front of the screen – these problems have become extremely common. If you have been dealing with these problems, you need to incorporate some stability ball exercises in your fitness regime. These light and bouncing balls provide an extra challenge to your usual activities, enhancing your flexibility, balance, and stability. These stability ball exercises provide plenty of benefits over other fitness equipment or bodyweight exercises. Here are the benefits of stability ball exercises to get rid of back and neck pain.
What are stability balls and how do they work?
Stability ball exercises provide support to the spine and neck depending on where the ball is placed. The unique quality of the stability ball is that when you place it under your back supine position or on the wall standing or seated position, the ball supports the spine completely. Stability ball exercises are beneficial for improving core strength and posture, but no research or study can claim that these ball exercises can alleviate your back and neck pain. They provide support to the back and neck while performing a variety of exercises and prevent further injury.
Best stability ball exercises to reduce back and neck pain
To learn the best stability ball exercises that will help to strengthen back and neck muscles, Health Shots got in touch with Bhavna Harchandrai, a Fitness Instructor. Try these best stability ball exercises to reduce back and neck pain:
1. Pelvic tilts
- Lie on your back with the stability ball between your knees.
- Gently tilt your pelvis upward and inwards like zipping up your tightest pair of
- jeans, engaging your core muscles.
2. Bridge exercise
- Lie on your back with your feet on the stability ball.
- Lift your hips towards the ceiling, engaging your glutes and core.
3. Seated ball tilt
- Sit on the stability ball with feet flat on the floor.
- Gently roll the ball back and forth to engage core muscles.
4. Back extension
- Lie face down with your belly button on the stability ball, hands behind your head.
- Lift your chest off the ball, engaging your back muscles.
5. Swiss ball dumbbell shoulder press
- Sit on the stability ball.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground and hold a dumbbell in each hand right near the edge of your shoulders.
- Keep your palms facing forward, elbows in line with the chest, and core engaged.
- Exhale and lift the dumbbells as you extend your arms above your head.
- Let the two dumbbells touch.
- Inhale and bring the arms back down to the starting position.
What are the benefits of the stability ball exercises?
Stability ball exercises not only help you get rid of back and neck pain, they also offer several other benefits:
1. Builds core strength: Stability ball exercises engage the core muscles, helping to improve strength and stability.
2. Improves posture: Sitting on a stability ball promotes better posture as it requires the active engagement of the core muscles to maintain balance.
3. Balance and coordination: Performing exercises on an unstable surface challenges balance and coordination, enhancing overall body control.
4. Flexibility: Stability ball exercises often involve a full range of motion, contributing to increased flexibility.
5. Spinal alignment: The use of stability balls can encourage proper spinal alignment, potentially reducing strain on the back, especially for those with existing back issues. They are good for pregnant women as it provides full support to their spine.
6. Rehabilitation: Stability balls are sometimes used in rehabilitation programs to improve strength and mobility, especially for back-related issues.
“Remember to start gradually and choose exercises that match your fitness level. If you have any existing health concerns, consult with a fitness professional before incorporating stability ball exercises into your routine,” says Harchandrai.
Factors to consider before buying stability balls
When choosing a Swiss or stability ball, consider these factors:
1. Size: Ensure the ball is the right size for your height. When sitting on the ball, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle, and your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
2. Material: Look for high-quality, anti-burst material to ensure safety. If punctured, these balls deflate slowly rather than bursting suddenly.
3. Weight capacity: Check the weight limit of the stability ball to ensure it can support your body weight.
4. Inflation: Opt for a ball that is easy to inflate and deflate. Some come with a pump for convenience.
5. Brand reputation: Choose a reputable brand to ensure the ball meets quality standards.
Who should avoid stability ball exercises?
Stability ball exercises may not be suitable for everyone, and certain individuals should exercise with caution or should avoid them totally. Here are some considerations:
1. Balance and stability issues: Individuals with severe balance or stability issues may find these exercises in a supine position challenging and potentially unsafe.
2. Orthopedic concerns: People with certain orthopedic conditions, such as recent surgeries, joint instability, or acute injuries, should consult with a healthcare professional before using stability balls or beginning any other exercise program.
3. Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals should be cautious and seek advice from a healthcare provider, as some unsupported exercises such as abdominal crunches, leg raises, chest flies, and push-ups may be contraindicated during pregnancy.
4. Recent injuries: Those with recent back injuries should avoid these exercises until they have fully recovered.
5. Dizziness or vertigo: Individuals who experience dizziness or vertigo may find certain stability ball exercises uncomfortable and should exercise caution.
Thus, it is important to always consult with your doctor or fitness professional before incorporating stability ball exercises into your routine, especially if you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions. They can provide personalised advice based on your individual needs and circumstances.