I love the swiss ball or fitball. Its origins and development are credited to Aquilino Cosani, an Italian plastics manufacturer from the 60s. Apparently american physical therapists came up with the name “Swiss Ball” after witnessing a convincing demo in Switzerland. For me, these inflatable balls, averaging 60cm in diameter, proved to be challenging toys when filling time in between appointments at a commercial gym. I continued this formative, playful habit not realising that the repetitive balance, modify and repeat was laying down a foundation that has contributed to my general balance today.
More recently, a new swiss ball has entered the family home, much to the delight of the children who immediately regarded it as a toy and not for its intended use as a tool to help strengthen mummy’s core – specifically abdominals and lower back.
Given my history I’m left with a dilemma; my default instructions to the kids began with ‘don’t play…’ and ‘be careful…’.with the ball etc knowing only too well that playful practice will benefit them in many ways. In the end we agreed to create more space with a limited timescale of use, which I hope will still contribute in some way towards improved balance skills.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share some core focused exercises I’ve rediscovered. The video has me showing off a little towards the end while the images above are what I consider useful exercises for modern living to combat stiff necks, tight shoulders and back.
Swiss Ball History – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_ball