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Is the exercise ball a marketing gimmick?

I do yoga every day and walk about an hour. Should I invest in an exercise ball (sometimes called Swiss Ball)? A friend says it's just a gimmick and most of the general exercises, including ab crunches, do not require such tools.

Thu. Jul 26, 11:07am

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There is a whole lot more you can do w/ a ball than just crunches. I bought one and really like it. There are lots of exercises on line that can give you great ideas for a routine. Many professional trainers say that this is one of the best "gimicks" out there.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 11:09 AM

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Sure, you can do crunches without it. You can do all exercises without it, but I find that using a ball sometimes helps me do crunches on days I'm feeling lazy and my form is bad, or my back hurts-it helps get me in proper alignment and work muscles that I can't access otherwise (sometimes). It's also great for building general core strength because most exercises done on it require your body to stabilize itself while working out. You can get the same core tightening through pilates and balancing poses in yoga but I think the ball makes it easier for a quick resistance workout.

It's a gimmick if you don't use the thing-that's for sure!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 1:54 PM

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You definately target muscles in your Core that you wouldn't otherwise. Try putting the ball under your hips, and your hands on the groud, and walking out on your hands. Or reverse hikers where you put your hands on the group and lift legs in the air (almost handstand), and lower back down again. OR place your shins on the ball, hands on the ground, and roll the ball towards your chest. OR... see, there's lots of good stuff out there!

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 5:34 PM

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Being heavier it has made it easier for me to get started and not just doing ab work., I really like using it to for stretching especially my back.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 6:28 PM

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I have one and I love it! Aside from working out with it, I sometimes sit on it at the dinner table - it really slows me down because I have to concentrate on something other than inhaling my dinner.

There was also an article in our hometown paper about a school that replaced their desk chairs with's apparently worked out well. Here's the link...


Friday, July 27, 2007, 12:33 PM

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Yeah I love my ball too. Somehow it makes doing push ups, crunches and plank a lot more fun. There are tons of exercises you can do with it. Look around and you can get one at a good price too....I am on my second one and got it on sale at Target for about $ far as I am concerned it was money well spent.
I sit on it to watch tv too. Somehow it makes it seems to make better spent time.

Friday, July 27, 2007, 1:56 PM

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why waste money on it if you're already doing yoga and walking?

Saturday, July 28, 2007, 5:03 AM

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I don't think I would call it a gimmick....

I have an exercise ball which I have not used yet. Parlty because I haven't yet taken the time to find out "how" to use it. I found this site today that has a ton of exercises for all different levels and some sport specific exercises as well. Click on the link below if you are interested in seeing them.


Sunday, January 25, 2009, 12:47 PM

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I love my exercise ball - it's just a little awkward to store, since I live in a small apartment and don't have dedicated exercise space.

You can do almost all of the same exercise without the ball, but using the ball makes it easier to maintain form and work core muscles - for me, anyway.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 7:57 PM

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I like the ball, but my dogs are afraid of it.

Monday, January 26, 2009, 8:33 PM

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8:33 - My pooch is afraid of it too, poor thing. ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 10:07 AM

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I bought a ball, but never found it worked well for me, I had to find exercises online, but I never did, and then I found a book, but I couldn't do the exercises and keep the book open at the same time....sounds like excuses, but it just didn't work for me. I'm much better with videos that tell me what to do, less thinking.

On the plus side, the ball is very fun to sit and bounce on, and my son and nieces and nephews love throwing it around my basement.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 4:27 PM

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i have a ball, and really like it! i feel that you use different ab muscles than you do with normal situps/crunches. there is more of an extention to your workout and you can feel the burn!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 4:47 PM

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