How Spine Balls Can Strengthen Your Core

Ever wonder what's up with those big, colorful exercise balls you see around the Fitness Center? We'd like to introduce you to the infinite possibilities of this versatile fitness tool.


What They're Called

These multipurpose exercise balls go by a variety of names. Essentially, all of the following names are used to refer to the large, inflatable exercise balls in the Fitness Center:

  • Spine ball
  • Swiss ball
  • Physio ball
  • Stability ball
  • Therapy ball

For the remainder of this article, we will refer to this piece of equipment simply as a spine ball.


What They're Used For

Spine balls can be used in hundreds of different exercises. Nearly any muscle or muscle group can be targeted by a thoughtfully designed spine ball exercise. One advantageous characteristic of spine ball exercises is that they require consistent stabilization of the exerciser's core to perform.


What is the Core

For the purposes of this introduction the term core will simply mean the center section of the body. Longitudinally, this covers from the buttocks up to the armpits. From a cross sectional perspective, this includes musculature from the internal muscles surrounding the spine out to the most external muscles of the abdomen and buttocks.

UW Health Fitness Center offers spine ball exercises to help strengthen your core


Importance of a Strong Core

Your core is the foundation that all movement is generated from. A strong core serves many functions. From preventing and rehabbing injuries to moving in the most effective and efficient manner possible, a strong core is an asset.


Spine Balls and Your Core

There are many ways to target core muscles/muscle groups. One of the appealing features of exercises using a spine ball is that every exercise requires core stabilization. Hence, no matter what the obvious "target" (or purpose/intent) of the exercise is, your core is challenged when the movement is performed correctly.


Learning to Use a Spine Ball

Fitness Center staff is always available to help members learn how to implement spine ball exercises into their routine. In addition, the Fitness Center offers a couple of classes that focus on spine ball exercises. Participants in these classes learn dozens of exercises while improving their core strength. Veterans of these classes rave about the results: increased core strength, improved posture, and greater ease of movement.


Go on, now…give it a try!

We encourage you to ask our staff to teach you a couple of starter exercises using the spine ball. You’ll quickly see why these are so useful in developing a strong core. Better yet, consider joining one of the classes listed above. Not only will you get to learn dozens of challenging exercises, but you will have a blast working out with your peers!