Fitball is a complex set of special exercises done with a large sized ball. The ball is used as a simulator. This relatively simple training of fitball aerobics is widely recommended in the practice of kinesiotherapy.

Fitball is a type of physical training whereby both active and passive movements give a certain therapeutic result. Combination of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry improve the health of a person, cure pathologies, maintain the patient's body in a healthy state, and prevent relapses. All this contributes to the patient’s overall physical and mental comfort.

This is quite an active treatment method which allows the patient to fully participate in the healing process. Such approach increases the motivation of the patient, gives them faith in their own strength and allows them to have a have a greater control over their disease. All of this is very important for the success of rehabilitation.

The main issues that fitball improves in the course of neurorehabilitation are:

  • Harmonizing the patient's emotional state;
  • Ensuring positive dynamics in the mental and psychological state of the patient;
  • Preventing stagnation of internal organs;
  • Improving blood circulation;
  • Restoring the tone of peripheral nerves.


The technique was created by Dr. Susan Klein-Vogelbach, who was both a physician and a physiotherapist. She was the first one to use ball exercises as an element of complex therapy for patients with cerebral palsy and noted the high effectiveness of these exercises. After this successful research, fitball started to be widely used for the treatment of orthopedic and neurological pathologies.

Unlike rigidly fixed simulators, the ball does not maintain the stable position of the patient's body. This makes the patient concentrate and stabilize their muscles simultaneously while doing exercises. The very fact that the patient is exercising on an unstable ball creates an imbalance. This imbalance is compensated by the muscles of the abdomen and legs that automatically strain. This imbalance is essentially what fitball-gymnastics is based on.

Another key feature of the fitball is that the workload on the patient's legs is minimal. This allows for the method to be used even if the patient has knee or ankle injuries or weak legs.

Course Rules

Training should begin with a warm-up. The patient should carefully sit on the ball and, while maintaining the vertical body position, roll forward-backwards. The body is supported by the feet. Repeat 4-5 times.

The patient then proceeds to an individually developed program. This program aims to swiftly restore the affected functions of the brain and spinal cord. Training should be done at least twice a week, 1-2 sets of 15-25 repetitions (the number of repetitions depends on the patient's condition). The time spent on the ball is not strictly regulated and is adjusted to each individual case.

The ball is also individually selected. There are two ways to determine if the sport equipment if right for the patient:

  • The thighs and knees of the patient should be on the same level when he is sitting on the ball, with legs bent at 90 degrees. If the angle is less, the workload on the joints will increase, which is undesirable for rehabilitation. If the angle is greater than 90 degrees, it will be difficult for the patient to perform the exercises;
  • The diameter of the fitball should be proportional to the height of the patient minus 100 centimeters - this method is less accurate.

Exercises on the fitball can be performed by patients weighing up to 130 kilograms. These are the following types of balls:

  • Normal fitball (smooth ball);
  • Massage ball (with knobs);
  • Gymnastic ball (with little pegs that the patient can hold on to);
  • Orthopedic ball (with legs).

Treatment and prevention of the following pathologies is achieved by this technique:

  • Varicose veins - when performing exercises on the press, the workload on the legs is virtually absent, which gives a positive dynamic;
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system - fitball exercises stimulates lymphatic and blood circulation and normalize the work of the central nervous system;
  • Obesity - fitball exercises can be beneficial when losing weight;
  • Pathology of the vestibular system - fitball helps to develop coordination of movements and thus the patient's reaction improves;
  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Fitball exercises reduce the workload on intervertebral disks and increase the elasticity of tissues between them. The joint tension common in arthritis and osteochondrosis is relieved;
  • Neuroses, depression and irritability. Fitball produces a relaxing effect, which is very important in the course of rehabilitation, because the success of treatment depends directly on the emotional state of the patient.

Exercises with the ball

One of the main advantages of the fitball is its versatility. A set of exercises can have several goals depending on the state of the patient. They are as follows:

  • To strengthen the muscles of the shoulder girdle and hands;
  • To strengthen the muscles of the pelvis and back;
  • To strengthen the abdominal muscles;
  • To strengthen the muscles of the arch of the foot and legs;
  • To increase mobility and flexibility of the joints;
  • To restore vestibular system;
  • To correct posture;
  • To restore coordination of movements and dexterity.

Also see other methods:

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