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Use stability ball for core training

Stop by Health 1st’s Wellness Wednesday table in the Children’s Hospital lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 27 to learn about core strengthening with a stability ball.

Want to learn more about strengthening your core with the stability ball? From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 27 Annie Cruzan, Stacey Backstrom and Whitney Rathbone from the MUSC Harper Student Center will demonstrate  exercises that can be done at home or in the gym. Handouts also will be available listing many of these exercises.
The American Council on Exercise recommends that  when it comes to choosing and using a stability ball:
  • It's important to purchase the right size ball and also to maintain the right amount of air pressure.
  • When buying a stability ball, you should be able to sit on the ball with your hips and knees forming a 90-degree angle.
  • The firmer the ball, the more difficult the exercise may be. Individuals just beginning training with the stability ball may opt for one that is softer and larger. Below are the general guidelines for purchasing the correct size stability ball. Height ball size: shorter than 4’6” 30cm; 4’6” - 5’0” 45cm; 5’1” - 5’7” 55cm; 5’8” - 6’2” 65cm; and taller than 6’2” 75cm.
Why use a stability ball? Many of the athletic activities people engage in involve primarily the muscles of the lower body. Stability ball exercises focus on strengthening through the core, or the muscles of the back, chest and abdomen. Picture the core muscles as the connection between the upper and lower extremities. The stronger the core, the more efficiently the rest of the body can work and move.
Additional benefits include improvements in posture, balance and muscular endurance. All this allows the body to function more proficiently and with less risk of injury due to muscle weakness or imbalances that are so common.

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.

Friday, Feb. 22, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.