Yesterday I had a short conversation about balance and stability with a fit couple from our gym. We noted how important the two aspects of fitness and training are, yet we so easily disregard them or brush them aside when time becomes tight or our bodies become fatigued.
The stability ball is such a useful piece of equipment and can be used in various parts of your workout to perform a wide range of seated and prone exercises. Almost any exercise done on a bench, can be done on a ball and being an air filled object, it can be a lot more comfortable too! Now don’t go chasing your entire bench routine to using the ball as there is certainly a need for both! When using the ball, you may find that your force output and weight range will decrease as the muscles are being used to help you balance and stable. Stability ball training puts your body in an unstable environment which requires your core to be attentive throughout each exercise, which is why they have a good reputation of building your core and lower back muscles!
I would suggest that you use a combination of both stable and non-stable surfaces for training. The exact mix will depend on your fitness goals. If you want to maximize core activation, the ball should play a dominant role in your workouts or if you are simply wanting to tone up, I would use it on occasions to keep your body and muscles guessing! Other examples of non-stable equipment includes foam rollers, boss balls, hover boards and balance discs. Most are generally cheap to buy and may be a good addition to your home gym!