WRIGHT – Which Stability Fitness Tools Are Right For You?
October 21, 2010
While there are dozens of stability fitness tools available for purchase for in-home use and many of those may be utilized in the fitness facility where you workout as well, it is important to know how these stability fitness tools improve your stability and which ones may be appropriate for you to use or purchase. Consequently, this week, we will feature several stability fitness tools along with some guidelines regarding purchase and use.
Keep in mind that no one fitness tool does it all. And, also keep in mind that stability does not just refer to core stability. We want to possess functional stability about all of our joints/throughout our body as well as our core. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Stability Ball (also known as Fit Balls among other names) – Stability balls vary in size, usually between 55cm up to 75cm. The size of the balls is important as it helps to determine who should use it, what, when and where to use each size of ball. Due to the inherent instability of the ball, the user’s stability is challenged.
BOSU Balance Trainer – This stability tool offers uses that the stability ball may not as it is half of a ball with a flat base. You can use both sides (i.e. BOSU is an acronym for both sides up); however, we commonly use the dome side up. There are many stability exercises that may be performed on a BOSU that we might not attempt on the stability ball.
Pillow Disc – This stability tool is also versatile and is used to challenge static and dynamic stability. One, two or dozens of pillow discs may be used to perform many static and dynamic stability skills.
Wobble Boards – This stability tool really “wobbles”, consequently, it requires a bit of stability training prior to use or at the very least very close supervision when using. We use this tool a great deal with athletes to improve their stability which is critical in most sports.
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TRX Suspension Trainer – This stability/strengthening tool requires supervision prior to use. The TRX is suspended from a stable anchor point and the user works with straps of different lengths to challenge stability and strength throughout the body.
Should you purchase/use these tools?
• Prior to progressing to any stability tool, make certain you have mastered the stability skill on a stable surface. Therefore, if you have not mastered the stability skill on stable surface, using or purchasing stability tools may be premature.
• All of these tools require instruction and supervision prior to use. Understand that each tool may be utilized in dozens of exercises. Just because you have mastered one, do not assume you are able to perform other exercises with that tool. So, consult your certified/qualified personal trainer, group exercise instructor or physical therapist prior to use or purchase.
Next week, some tips for where to purchase stability fitness tools and how to care for those tools to ensure your safety and effectiveness.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NFSGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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