“The fitball, comfortable but firm, finds gravity a challenging partner in the search for new experiences, acting as a stimulus, both for the athlete and for the sedentary, because it works the body as a whole.”
The swiss ball, also known as fitball, stands out in the scientific field in the late 1950s, when swiss physiotherapists who worked with children, showed excellent results in improving the clinical condition of their patients.
After many years of practice and adjustments to various exercises with fitball, it began to gain importance in elite training in the world of Fitness.
Because it is so versatile, it is used in several modalities such as pilates, yoga, physiotherapy and training. It is great for working balance, stabilization and promoting postural improvements, since for the realization of movement, naturally, the practitioner develops body awareness. It can be used either as relaxation or in complex exercises.
The fitball can be found in various measures and must be adapted based on some aspects such as: height, weight and legs length of the practitioner, as well as the purpose of the exercise. The way in which the fitball may be fuller or less, also influences stability, so you should always take this into account.
Advantages of fitball (swiss ball):
- It is a lightweight, portable, durable and inexpensive accessory
- Works the whole body through proprioception (perception of position, displacement, balance, weight and distribution of the body itself and its parts)
- Help with postural correction
- Can be used without the need for other materials
- Promotes muscle strengthening and toning
- Facilitates the gradual progression of exercises according to their positioning
- Relieves tension
- Especially indicated for people with lumbar and cervical problems
- Can be used with pregnant women
- The risk of injury is reduced by the absence of impact
- Activates blood circulation
- Recommended for any age group
The instability it causes, requires a deep muscle recruitment, which is sometimes difficult to achieve with other exercises or accessories. It trains the body's reaction speed, making the person use the stabilizing muscles (all the muscles that surround the spine, responsible for the body posture in the movements) by necessity.
Fitball training provides countless positive results as long as the student is well known and the type of training is the most suitable for those who practice it. It is important to pay attention to the exercises creativity and safety. The execution should be slow in order to be able to control the movement in the best way with an unstable base.
By Lígia Alves, Personal & Group Trainer at Academia Bodylab