Nobody loves that aching back pain. Because, not only does it restricts movement, or causes constant irritation, but may also prove instrumental in the debilitating of your lower back muscles.
The yoga ball, also known as exercise or gym ball, is an effective treatment option via exercise for back pain victims and is specially designed as part of a rehab program to help inhibit or reduce the additional episodes of nagging lower back pain. The yoga ball is effective in the recuperation of back pain because it strengthens and grows the core muscles that are responsible for stabilizing your spine.
How Does It Work?
Every time you read or watch something about performing any exercise, you must have heard the trainer asking you to keep the body steady for a posture. But yoga ball works in an opposite manner. With yoga ball, a component of instability is introduced to the exercise, that otherwise is not desirable in other floor exercises. You may stop here and think that how instability in an exercise is associated to solve a lower back problem, then let us tell you that body reacts automatically to this instability to keep itself balanced on the ball. Ultimately, the muscles become used to keep balance on the gym ball, due to which they become strong. In a crux, people strengthen their major back muscles and abdominal muscles even without knowing it.
Yoga or gym ball also works through a concept called ‘proprioception’. Also known as kinaesthesia is a body’s capability to sense its location, movement, and actions. Due to this ability of our body, we are able to move freely and do actions without constantly thinking about our environment.
While performing an exercise on a gym ball, this instability factor provides your body with continuous opportunities to assess its positioning in space, developing and training the body’s proprioception a.k.a sixth sense.
Effectiveness of Yoga Ball for Strengthening of Spine
An unstable unit like a gym ball is highly effective in activating muscles that stabilize your spine so that you don’t fall or lose balance while using it for the workout. Typically, these muscles comprise the superficial and deep groups that border and support your spine. Through activation of spinal muscles, the muscle fibres strengthen, and thus it improves back pain, stiffness, and weakness in your lower back.
Now that we have established the effectiveness of a gym ball to help you deal with lower back pain, now let's see how it is a real hero in kicking out the pain.
Enhances Core Strength
Core strength is the body's potentiality to position and move the torso and regulate the passing of forces between upper and lower extremes. As we said, a gym ball workout stimulates the muscles in your back and abdomen area, due to which there is reduced stiffness, lesser fatigue, and enhanced strength in these muscle groups.
Yoga Ball Plank
Using a yoga ball to perform plank is a lovely way to strengthen your core. To do this:
- Keep your feet steady on the ground and place your forearms and elbows on the gym ball
- Your legs must be straight just like in the regular plank, and to activate your core muscles, tighten your abdominal and lower back area
- Make sure that your shoulders are aligned, and in a straight line with your lower body. A correct posture is a must to gain benefits from this exercise.
You can start this exercise with 3 sets of 30 seconds and then gradually increase the time up to 1 minute per set, as tolerated by your body.
Improved Spinal Endurance
When there is stiffness in the muscles bracing the spinal region, this causes joints stability to reduce, due to which the spine deforms under heavy weight. Stiffness in the joints and muscles bordering your spine affects spinal mobility which makes it difficult to perform daily tasks actively. Gym ball workout aids in relieving muscle stiffness, and improves spinal endurance. In this way, your spine won’t give up when subject to abrupt activities.
Spinal Rotation with Gym Ball
Spinal rotation exercises with the gym ball pretty much suggest that these exercises help you deal with the spinal issues and gradually improve the spinal movement and strength.
- Get cosy by laying on your back. Now place your feet and calves on the ball
- Use your core muscles and legs to control the gym ball, and at the same time rotate the ball from one side to another in a series of motions that you can maintain for a while.
- Do three sets of 30-35 second
Enhanced Spinal Flexibility
Once you have improved core strength and spinal endurance, it will be easier for you to bend your body forward or backward efficiently with less pain due to the increased spinal flexibility. Keeping flexibility in various core muscles is also crucial in maintaining multidirectional spinal movement.
Child Pose with Gym Ball
Yoga and stretching have always been known to increase the body's flexibility, so why not inculcate a gym ball in your stretching routine to get the most out of it? Through this exercise, you can stretch multiple muscle groups, and also it lessens the stiffness of core muscles.
- Kneel with the gym ball place right in front of you
- Stretch your both arms by placing them on the ball and your face facing downward
- Keep you back straight while your arms are stretched on the yoga ball
- Do 3 sets of this exercise, each comprising of 30-45 seconds
Enhanced posture and balance
We have talked about core strength, now let's talk about muscle strength. Muscle strength is as important as core strength. What enables our body to keep balance while standing, sitting, and walking? Of course, muscle strength. With a gym ball workout, muscle strength and coordination in your upper body improves which increases balance, corrects posture, and reduces the risk of falling.
Half an Hour Sit on Gym Ball
Who would have thought that a simple workout can include only sitting, but yes with a gym ball, you got it. You don’t need a fancy gym workout to correct your posture or body balance because this is achievable through a yoga ball. But remember, this is not just a piece of cake as it requires the precise yet continuous engagement of your core muscles to keep your balance on the gym ball. If you are new to gym ball, then keep your feet on the floor and just sit on it for about half an hour.
Make Gym Ball your Best Buddy
You must have seen people around you complaining about their lower back pain. Our robotic routine and inactive lifestyle have sure caused this problem to prevail on a large scale. We crouch in front of our screens for hours, and in the process hurt our back because crouching on the seat causes compression on the discs in our spine. This leads to premature degeneration of your spinal muscles and thus results in chronic pain.
Incorporating a gym ball into your daily routine is the simplest way to fight this nagging pain. When you can sit all day in front of your screen, then you can certainly practice sitting on this yoga ball to recover the damage. Sitting on the gym ball will stimulate your core muscles that is essential to maintain balance.
How about sitting on the gym ball while watching your favourite TV show? Make sure that you sit upright with your head and chest up and spine comfortably straight whereas, keeping your shoulders drawn back and somewhat down.
Once you are comfortable using a gym ball, you can go ahead with advanced exercises. For instance, challenge yourself by trying wall squats using a gym ball or you can just do the exercises we have mentioned above.
However, we would like to make a point here that like any other exercise program, it's wise to consult the physician before starting a gym ball workout. A trainer or physician can tell you about the exercises best suited to your body needs and may show you how to properly use them.
If you are interested to know what happens to your body when you sit all day, then check the article 10 things that happen when you sit down all day.
Lower back pain is a serious issue, and while there are many causes of it, the most common include poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, or mild back injury from athletic activities. Though there are many effective treatment options available to people, using a gym ball for the rehabilitation of back problems is certainly the most economical one. A gym ball, right said exercise or yoga ball, is an awesome tool to address lower back issues by gradually increasing your core muscles' strength and flexibility.