A toning ball, that large inflatable sphere you see at the gym and in stores, has become all the rage over the last several years for those looking for a low-impact, straightforward workout to help sculpt and tone those problem areas. They work by incorporating your own sense of balance in order to work core muscles, especially in the ab and back regions. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of working out with one of these devices? How do you know if it’s the right fit for you?
Versatility is the toning ball’s biggest advantage. It can accommodate any number of exercises and strength training combinations. You can use the ball on its own to do crunches, or you can add some free weights for a more balanced program. The toning ball is also used in many pilates-based techniques. Whether your goal is to trim body fat, strengthen your abs or tone other problem areas, this device has got you covered.
Pro: Back Pain Relief
Doctors tell patients every day, the best treatment for a sore back is strengthening your core. The muscles in your abs and back are responsible for supporting your spine. If these muscles are weak, as you age, gravity as well as poor posture and normal weight gain will cause the spine to move out of alignment, leading to an increase in lower back pain. The only sure-fire way to prevent this is by strengthening the core muscles. Using a toning ball, you can concentrate on oblique toning and lower back strengthening and stretching that will promote back health.
The only thing needed to set up a toning ball is either a pump or a strong pair of lungs. Otherwise, this it’s ready to go right out of the package. All you need is an open space in your living room and a list of recommended exercises and you’re ready to go. You can even get caught up on exercising while watching your favorite primetime drama or the evening news.
Con: Low impact
One thing to note is that, by itself, the toning ball does have some limitations. It provides a low-impact workout, which requires a bit of patience and perseverance and needs to be accompanied by a sensible diet in order to provide optimal results. You’ll definitely feel the difference in the first few weeks—your flexibility will increase and you’ll feel more energized—but it will take time for those six-pack abs to develop. So, make sure you’re mentality is geared for the long haul.
Con: Balance is Important
The toning balls also requires a good sense of balance. Although this can be acquired through repeated use of the device, poor balance can also lead to straining and injury. Since the ball relies heavily on slow shifts in balance, sudden movements can lead to overstretching the muscles you’re trying to tone. So, know yourself and don’t try to do too much too fast. The expert exercises will come with time.
All-in-all, the toning ball is a great device to help you strengthen your core. Ensure you are using it properly, and enjoy your new abs!