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Gymstick Swiss Ball

The Swiss Ball has been a tool synonymous with balance, stability and strength training for many years in the fitness industry. An extensive background in rehabilitation especially within physiotherapy circles, the Swiss Ball has gained respect and value as a tool that no fitness trainer should be without.
The different type of exercises and uses on the ball has been truly remarkable. Who would have ever thought what could be achieved with a rubber ball full of air. Now with the addition of gymstick, the ball is used as an effective tool for sports conditioning and balance improvement.

Enter the Gymstick

Gymstick was invented in Finland by a team of fitness and health professionals from the Finnish Institute of Sport with the aim of providing an innovative strength and conditioning tool for the whole body. Its versatility, effectiveness and ability to meet the exercise needs of everybody have seen it grow to now being used in over 30 countries around the world.

Benefits of using Gymstick with a Swiss Ball
Traditionally, to add resistance to exercises performed on the ball, dumbbells have been the preferred choice. Weighted resistance such as weights is only effective when the muscle action is working against gravity. This has limitations when using the ball, as the body is restricted to specific positions. For example, to work pectorals using dumbbells, the body needs to be in a supine position. When using the Gymstick, the body can be in any number of positions as the resistance is determined by the line of pull from the bands.
The Swiss ball is well known for being able to activate several muscle groups within the one exercise. One of the key advantages of using the Gymstick with the Swiss Ball, is that both large and small muscle groups are working against resistance, rather than just being used to stabilise the body. In fact, one of the key stabilising challenges with working with the Gymstick on the Swiss Ball is that often the line of pull of the bands will drag the body in one direction, against which, the trainee will be forced to activate opposing muscle groups to remain balanced.
The level of stability will also be determined by how the trainer is manipulating the resistance while the exercise is being performed. In this way, the trainer plays an active role in the degree of intensity of the workout. The advantage of this interaction is that the trainer is able to see how the exercise is being performed, and also feel how effectively the client is working. 

The recommended starting resistance level when working with a Gymstick on a Swiss Ball is blue. This is taking into account that the client is uninjured and has had previous experience working with the Swiss Ball. A key point to remember is that the resistance level can be manipulated quickly and effectively by winding the bands around the stick.

Summary

Adding the Gymstick to Swiss ball training adds another dimension by challenging the body to stabilise whilst working against resistance, capitalising on recruiting as many muscle groups as possible. It is also beneficial for older adults who are requiring more resistance on the ball, but cannot position themselves in either the supine or prone positions confidently. The Gymstick has the advantage of being used as it is or with other fitness tools, limited only by the personal trainer’s imagination.

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