run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Dangers and Oddity of Core Ball

For the past couple of years (maybe more?) the core ball has been pretty hot in the fitness world. I've always been into trying the new stuff like that, just so I know what all the hype is about. Plus it's good to mix things up sometimes because boredom is definitely a factor when it comes to workouts. So-that being said-it's not really characteristic of me to have not taken a core ball class or bought the ball and a DVD to try at home. I've done some crunches on the ball at the gym, but I knew that there were a whole lot of other cool things that could be done.
Well, a few months ago, I saw this at Costco:

This "Complete Collection" contains a core ball, 3 DVDs, a book, a resistance band, a web to go around the ball and a set of strength bands! And all of it was only $25!! So of course I had to buy it! The only thing it didn't have was an air pump, which was why I never opened the box until now.

This week, I've tried out two of the DVDs-one using the web and the other using the resistance bands. I have to say that a lot of the moves really crack me up. See, they like to alternate between strength exercises and cardio...and I don't really care to do the cardio because I obviously get that from running. But the cardio part is what is so funny...cause, I mean, bouncing up and down while sitting on the ball and clapping overhead is just silly. Greg apparently thought so too, since he busted out laughing when he saw me doing it. But you know...I guess everyone has to start somewhere, right? Maybe bouncing and clapping is a good place to start.

The strength training part was really good and challenging and I felt pretty sore after the workouts. There are tons of ways to use the ball and many of them require a little practice and experience, or else you run the risk of serious injury. I can tell you this from experience.

Balance is really key with a lot of the moves, and apparently I don't have any, because I crashed onto the floor-numerous times-while attempting moves. Plus, the ball has a way of flinging you out, so there's a chance that you'll fly into furniture or whatever else is in the room. So it may be best to do the core ball workouts in a completely empty warehouse with a soft foam floor.

You can also use put the ball against a wall and then lean on it to do some squat moves. However, I recommend using a wall that doesn't move! See, I've been working out in the guest room, which also contains boxes not yet unpacked from the move. And well, there isn't an empty wall in that room, unless you count the sliding closet doors. I was a little weary of that spot, but I went ahead and cautiously tried a couple ups and downs...successfully. The doors didn't hold me for long because on my 4th squat, the door came off the track and I flew backwards into the closet. I'm sure it would have been absolutely hilarious to watch, but I sure wasn't laughing.

Another thing about the set is that it comes from the instructors are all Australian. It's fun to listen to their accents, but sometimes the people really weird me out. They have creepy smiles on their faces all the time and they say things in a very monotone way. I understand that they are supposed to be upbeat and positive so that people are motivated, but who smiles while doing crunches?? Really!

The book also illustrates my case...the book is about 150 pages long and I'd say that there is at least one photo on every page, showing how to do the moves...and in every single picture, the instructors are grinning. Take a look at these very bad and blurry pictures...

Is it just me, or is this really bizarre? I think they are really robots.


Amy said...

These are super dangerous... I actually remember the first time I used one, wondering how many people had broken their neck from the ball rolling out from under you.

All that instability is good for your core, though! So, it's totally worth the prospect of dying.

Dana said...

I stumbled across your blog & both of you are funny as all get out. I've done a few 5k's & training for my 1st 10k in April of this year. I bought on of those balls this past weekend & I agree about them being dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. It's almost like you need to have a license to use that thing!