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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic

02
Jan

Gymball Strengthens Your Core

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Exercise

Question: I keep seeing people use the large exercise balls at the gym. They tell me they are strengthening their core. What is core strength and do these balls really work?

Answer: Yes, the exercise balls really do work to strengthen your core. They are known by many names, such as Stability Balls, Fit Balls, Swiss Balls, and Gymnic Balls. They are low cost, easy to store and a very versatile piece of equipment that you easily can use at home.


The exercise ball also has advantages over floor exercises. For example, it is more comfortable to do abdominal sit-ups than on the floor. If you have bad knees, you can still use this ball. Most significantly, it forces you to balance since the ball is inherently unstable.

The body naturally and automatically responds to this instability by engaging the core muscles, which exist in the abdomen, low back, pelvis and hip. As the core muscles strengthen, you have better posture, improved balance and enhanced athletic ability.

When you are trying to balance and exercise simultaneously, small muscles attached to your spine are also exercised. This improves both strength and control of your low back and may help reduce low back pain.

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, adding an exercise ball to your sit-up and back-extension routine can boost your core stability in only 5 weeks. Those using the ball significantly outscored those simply doing floor exercises for abdomen and back.

Before buying a ball, it is important to buy the right size and maintain the proper air pressure. The firmer the ball, the more difficult your exercise will be. When sitting on the ball, your hips should be level at 90 degrees and your knees bent at 90 degrees.

Exercise balls are more demanding than you may think. You will do best to have proper instruction on the type of exercise and proper form. People trained in the use of exercise ball include athletic trainers, physical therapists and chiropractors.

Dr. Bethany Schumacher (both my wife and partner) has been trained to teach these techniques. She spends 30 minutes one-on-one with you, ensuring that you do things properly.

Many people pursue 6-8 sessions on a weekly basis, building on their ability and fitness as they master the ball. Many of our patients have benefited and have significantly reduced or eliminated their low back pain.

Doing a session of ball exercises combined with walking program can be an effective, all-around exercise program that will fit into everyone's schedule. Now it's up to you!



Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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