Resist-A-Ball Trainer Testimonials
Resist-A-Ball® training has been in existence since 1993 and it has come a long way from just doing a "crunch" on the ball. Many knowledgeable trainers offer varied and creative Resist-A-Ball® programs including yoga, prenatal, free weights and stretching - to name a few. As a result of the widespread use of the ball in fitness programs, several scientific studies in recent years have been conducted validating the effectiveness of stability ball training. One study by Dr. Peter Francis in 2001 rated stability ball crunches as one of the top three most effective exercises to target the abdominals. Another recent study in 2006 included in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning showed the positive effects of stability ball training for increasing spinal stability. In 1999, Dr. Jeanne Nicholls concluded in her study that training with the stability ball increased overall strength in the older adult population. Besides this professional research, there is also the more informal feedback from trainers around the nation who have been teaching Resist-A-Ball® for several years. Here are some of their ball experiences and why they find it such an effective fitness tool in their personal and professional lives.
Cheri Groom, a Texas Resist-A-Ball® Master Instructor who teaches a broad spectrum of stability ball classes has witnessed a variety of transformations among her clients who train with the stability ball. Many credit Resist-A-Ball® exercises for rescuing them from debilitating back pain. "So many people go through life enduring the insults of daily pain due to weak supportive muscles. They are shocked when they discover how easy it is to change this pattern and get their freedom of movement back." Cheri also adds what a physical and mental boost it is for many of her active older adult clients like Alice. "When I first met Alice, she was insecure about her balance and strength. Even briefly standing on one leg was a daunting challenge. Though she didn't love it at first, she persevered with Resist-A-Ball® training because she knew it would help her get beyond her fear of falling. Now this 80-year-old powerhouse hammers out Prone Plank Push-Ups with the best of them in high-challenge mainstream classes. Best of all she has become something of a stability ball missionary, convincing other older adults to expand their own visions of their fitness potential."
Rebecca Cleary, a Resist-A-Ball® Master Instructor from New Hampshire believes that through stretching and training on the Resist-A-Ball® she greatly improved her posture and strengthened her spinal muscles. "Becca" started using the Resist-A-Ball® as the primary training tool for her physical therapy exercises she was doing for back pain and started to notice a difference in her posture. She was astounded when she went from 5'-4 ½ to 5'-5 ¼ inches on her annual physical exam. She also reported that: "from June to September 2006, I took time away from teaching my Resist-A-Ball® classes. Would you believe I returned to my former height of 5'-4 ½ inches!!?" However, within months after returning to teaching her classes, she proudly says that she is standing tall at 5'-5 ¼, confirming her assertion that regular exercise and stretching on the Resist-A-Ball® has improved her overall postural strength and appearance!
"The Resist-A-Ball® is my absolute favorite tool for teaching group exercise classes," says Jackie Camborde of Sante Fe, New Mexico. She informs us that she usually prefaces her ball class by announcing, "This class is called Cardio Ball, but its REAL name is Recess for Adults! I hope you came to play today, because I don't know if you'll be able to sit, bounce, balance and roll this ball around without having a little fun! My Resist-A-Ball classes are always loud and boisterous - a good time is definitely had by all. If you want to get your members closer, get them on the ball and watch the bonds start to form."
Sandy Navarro of Holland, Michigan enjoys telling how she became so passionate about Resist-A-Ball® training. "I have seen miracles happen before my eyes with the ball. My son was diagnosed autistic, high functioning, at age three. Part of his therapy was working in a "sensory room" that was filled with balls and swings, in all shapes and sizes. Working as a parental volunteer I chose the ball area. I bounced my son up and down on the large balls and said "B,B,B-all" over and over, until the first word out of his mouth was "Ball." The neuromuscular connection was incredible and fascinating and I saw other children much more severe than my son, making huge progress with the human connection. I was just becoming interested in personal training at that time, and my health club had purchased a couple of Resist-A-Balls. I was absolutely intrigued with how to use them in exercise and I began taking workshops with Mike and Stephanie Morris to educate myself on ball training. Through their guidance and motivation I have become a Resist-A-Ball® Master Instructor. My son is now 14, plays tennis and is quite an athlete! He still bounces on his Resist-A-Ball when he is playing video games and even hops on it to the refrigerator to get a snack."
Lawrence Biscontini, International Wellness & Spa Consultant and Movement Specialist based in the Caribbean, NYC and Greece, enjoys seeing the full evolution of the Resist-A-Ball®. "People realize that these single spheres are the most versatile of all equipment in the gym or movement studios," he explains. Biscontini uses the Resist-A- Ball® with a plethora of different equipment available today, from Gliding disks to foam rollers to simple T'ai Chi workouts. "I travel a lot and can't always find a gym," he begins. "And if I have one 55cm Resist-A-Ball® in my hotel room I'm good to go for an entire workout hour of challenging, triplanar integrated exercises that keep me in shape for my demanding fitness schedule. And when I'm done, the Resist-A-Ball® is also my hotel desk chair when I'm at emails so I'm working my core even more instead of sitting in an old-fashioned chair. Years ago I got Resist-A-Balls for my dining room and now invited guests look forward to sitting around the table on their balls!" Lawrence can be reached at www.findLawrence.com.
Michelle Suding recommends to be sure to use a ball if you sit at a desk for more than a few hours and that it fits your height comfortably. Michelle has found that the ball makes her more aware of what her body is doing while her mind is working and not conscious of posture. "I feel my core is so much stronger than it has ever been and no doubt my time sitting on the ball as I work has helped me strengthen postural muscles." Other trainers have recommended doing a set of crunches in between work at their desk, pelvic mobility exercises (hip circles, pelvic tilting), controlled bouncing and various stretches - all appropriate movement for a ball at the desk.
Tessie Etie-Behr, owns the company J.A.M. ministries in Mandeville, LA, where she uses the ball in her hip hop classes with teens. She decided to get her young son, Zachariah, started extra early rolling on the ball. At the age of 3 months, she would lay him on his stomach on the ball in order to stimulate the muscles in his back. He soon started to lift his head up and gradually his chest. Once he began to crawl, she had him pull up on the ball as she held it and he would balance in place. As he got older, Tessie would sit him on the ball and bounce him, roll him side to side and front to back much to his delight. Also, Tessie worked out on the ball throughout her entire pregnancy and says Zachariah is just a natural BALL BABY! She also comments that after both back and knee injuries, she rehabilitated almost exclusively using the ball with great results.
Kristen Redding, a Houston, TX trainer, was a competitive track and field athlete in college who spent much time in the weight room. She continued in fitness as an instructor and after 20 years of many programs she discovered the ball. She says, "As I began to incorporate my ball workouts into my programs, I began to reduce my time in the weight room and eventually used the ball exclusively for strength. I put my ball workouts to a test as I trained to look my best for my sister's wedding. I used the ball and cardio workouts for 12 weeks and the result was the best shape my body had ever had - in my late 30's. My strength, tone and definition were amazing. It is one simple piece of equipment that I find unmatched in versatility for training and rehab."
Do you or one of your clients have a Resist-A-Ball® experience that you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you and welcome your e-mails at email@example.com. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in a Resist-A-Ball® workout, visit our on-line store and select a ball and workout for you!
Carter, J. M., et al.2006. The effects of stability ball training on spinal stability in sedentary individuals. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20 (2), 429-35.
Frances, Peter, ACE Fitness Matters, May/June 2001
Nichols, Jeanne, The Effects of Stability Ball Training on Functional Strength and Balance of Older Adults, Abstract presented at the Southwest ACSM, Nov. 1999.