Poor posture and long hours of sitting can cause compression on the joints, making them stiff. However, stretching can help alleviate stiffness and soreness. And stretches using an exercise ball can prove highly effective.
Exercise balls can stretch out stiffness and improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. Orthopedists recommend exercise ball stretches for lower back as a rehabilitation technique to strengthen your core muscles and stabilize your spine.
Read on to see how an exercise ball can alleviate your back pain. We’ll also give you useful stretches to help with your lower back pain and improve your posture.
In a hurry to see the best exercise balls to stretch your lower back? See the products below.
|GoFit ProBall Stability Ball
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|Power Systems VersaBall Stability Ball
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|Wacces Professional Exercise Stability and Yoga Ball
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- 1 How Do Exercise Balls Help Lower Back Pain ?
- 2 Exercise Ball Stretches to Relieve Back Pain ?♀️
- 3 Best Exercise Balls on the Market ?
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions ?
- 5 Conclusion ?
How Do Exercise Balls Help Lower Back Pain ?
In nearly every gym setting, Pilates studio, yoga studio, and HIIT class, you’ll find an exercise ball—sometimes called a stability ball or Swiss ball—as a classic piece of fitness equipment.
But how can this tool help with back pain relief?
Exercise ball stretches help to provide stability that’s impossible to achieve when exercising on the floor.
This stability results from the body’s attempt to keep itself balanced on the exercise ball automatically and naturally.
The constant instability of the exercise ball allows the body to assess how it’s positioned in space, enhancing its natural awareness and increasing overall stability.
Additionally, the spinal movement caused by using an exercise ball could reduce pain by stimulating the release of natural painkillers.
The exercise ball lets your core muscles strengthen the spine and control proper posture, which reduces the pressure on your back area.
Exercise Ball Stretches to Relieve Back Pain ?♀️
As we said, stretching the tight muscles around the back and mobilizing the spine can help relieve lower back pain.
Here are some exercises to help with that:
Plank Leg Lift
Start in a plank position. Put your elbows on the ball and step back.
Next, move your forearms into the Start in a plank position.
Put your elbows on the ball and step back. Push your forearms into the ball and activate your shoulders.
Keep your shoulders, stomach, and legs engaged throughout the entire exercise.
To activate your stomach, tighten your ab muscles and tuck them in. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line.
When you’ve adjusted yourself into the position, lift one leg, hold for 15 seconds and then bring your leg back down.
Do ten reps (five for each leg) and three sets of this exercise to strengthen your back muscles.
Learn more about planks: Do planks burn fat?
Sit down on your exercise ball. Then, slowly slide your back down the ball and get into the bridge position.
The ball should be supporting your back while your legs are on the ground.
Keep the core tight and engaged, and don’t arch your back.
Then, squeeze and lift your buttocks upwards. Make sure the glute and stomach muscles are tight and engaged.
Hold the position for 10 seconds, then slowly come back down.
Repeat 10 times in each set. Do four sets of it.
Lie on Your Front Over the Ball
Place the Swiss ball in front of you, lean your torso on it, then try to get the apex of the ball right where your lower back is.
Swing across and cross your arms over the front. Keep your lower back and hips relaxed, so get your feet nice and wide.
Allow the ball to press up into the lower back, and make sure you’re getting support from the ball while stretching and decompressing this area.
Then, grab onto a chair or anything sturdy and pull yourself forward so your knees come off the ground.
Hold the position for 30 seconds, then come back.
Lie Back Over The Ball
Lie down against the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your body and back muscles.
You should feel the stretch in your abdominal muscles throughout your front. Keep the position for about 30 seconds.
The spine will mobilize and revert the upper back’s natural kyphotic curve, which can become too rounded when one has poor posture.
You can strive to touch the floor with your hands overhead to deepen the stretch.
Sit on the Ball
Place one ankle over the opposite knee as you sit on the ball.
Bring your shoulders as close as possible to your crossed leg, and drop your head down.
To deepen the stretch, reach as far as possible to the ground.
Line up on the swiss ball with your feet anchored against the wall.
Make sure your head, shoulders, and back are aligned.
Squeeze your legs and buttocks for more support.
Then, slowly extend and lift your back.
This exercise is similar to the cobra pose in yoga, but the difference is you’re not on the ground.
Repeat this exercise 10 times and hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds.
Back and Forth
Put your arms to your sides or hips while sitting on the exercise ball.
Pull your stomach muscles and hips in to reduce lordosis as you do a pelvic tilt. Then, get back to the neutral position on the exercise ball.
Slightly arch your back and move your hips toward the back.
Once again, return to the neutral position.
Do the exercises continuously back and forth for ten repetitions on the exercise ball once you are comfortable.
Best Exercise Balls on the Market ?
To maximize the effect of exercise balls and have the best user experience, we have listed some of the market’s top-rated and most affordable exercise balls.
Here are a number of them:
Epitomie Fitness Active Balance Exercise Ball
This ball is made with high-quality PVC material, so it is comfortable to use, which is why it has a score of 4.7 out of 5 for comfort.
Traction is another benefit of this product.
It has a secure grip while performing exercises with wet hands and legs to mimic sweat with a slightly textured surface.
Moreover, its anti-burst design minimizes the possibility of injury through slow deflation if a puncture occurs.
GoFit Pro Grade Stability Ball
Gofit is the best ball for beginners, and this exercise ball is the best choice if you’ve never done this type of exercise before.
Illustrations on the ball will help you perform a few simple exercises.
The ball also comes with a DVD and manual that offers more instruction than all the other balls tested by users and experts.
Power Systems VersaBall Stability Ball
This product is tied with the TheraBand Pro Series for being the sturdiest and most supportive of all the balls tested.
The quality of this ball was evident because it took the most effort to inflate.
Likewise, it’s made from a thick and weighty PVC that is both slick and sticky and available in various sizes for people from 4’8″ to 6’5″ and even taller.
Waccess Fitness and Exercise Ball offers solid performance for a lower price, though it isn’t made to the same high quality as the higher-grade models.
Despite its lower cost, this ball offers excellent support and grip without being overly slick.
The product comes in various colors to suit your taste.
Plus, it’s relatively quick and easy to inflate.
However, it’s made of rubber, with durability concerns, and doesn’t smell very nice.
Frequently Asked Questions ?
Is It Good for Your Back to Sit on an Exercise Ball?
Not necessarily. While some researchers say that sitting on exercise balls can strengthen your core and back muscles, others believe it doesn’t affect your performance.
What Size Exercise Ball Should I Get
It depends on your build and height. For example, a 55-centimeter ball is a good choice for someone between 5’1″ (155 centimeters) and 5’7″ (170 centimeters).
A 65-centimeter ball is ideal if you are 5’8″ (173 centimeters) to 6’1″ (185 centimeters).
Try a 75-centimeter ball if you’re over 6’2″ (188 centimeters) tall.
Although the exercise ball stretches for lower back are highly beneficial for back pain, we recommend seeing a licensed specialist, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, or exercise physiologist, if the pain is uncomfortable.
Depending on the specific diagnosis and degree of pain, there will be different exercises with the ball, and you should consult a spine specialist for advice.
Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API