The gym ball has also been called a number of different names; exercise ball, swiss ball, fitness ball, fit ball, stability ball, birth ball, pregnancy ball, balance ball, body ball, gymnastic ball, physio ball, Pilates ball, Pezzi ball, sports ball, yoga ball, therapy ball; but they are all the same thing, so don't get confused!
First developed in Switzerland to aid in the physiotherapy of children with disabilities, and is probably the most versatile exercise aid available. It quickly became popular worldwide, because it is easy to use anywhere, in the gym, at home or even in an office, and its simplicity is its greatest strength. No complicated set-up, no dangerous moving parts or parts which could break, and its low cost all make it the perfect workout tool for just about anyone regardless of age, stamina levels or experience.
Using a gym ball tones muscles in the whole body, improving flexibility, balance and posture through dozens of different exercises tailored to all levels of ability and movement. Whether you just want to improve your general fitness levels and tone your muscles in specific areas, use the gym ball as a part of Pilates sessions, give yourself a tough regime or use it as an effective warm-up before using other equipment, the Swiss ball is ideal. Additionally as a low-impact excerise, it is perfect for those with existing problems such as lower back pain, which can be helped, and for pregnant women wanting to keep fit, but avoid bumps and jolts!
Gym balls come in a wide variety of sizes and strengths from smaller exercise balls through to professional specialty fitness balls and physiotherapy balls. The better exercise balls are made from vinyl, but they can be made of plastic too. Exposure to heat or excess sunlight could harm plastic exercise balls.
Because all inflatables can puncture, ensure that you do not wear any jewellery or sharp objects when exercising.