Adaptive Fitness with a Gravity Ball™
If you’re a wheelchair user, practicing resistance exercise is an important part of maintaining good overall health. It not only builds healthy muscle mass but also can help to reduce pain, improve mobility and reduce stiffness, prevent muscular imbalances, reduce the chances of injury, increase strength levels and boost your energy and mood.
If you’re looking for a new way to start doing resistance exercise at home (or anywhere you’d like) the Gravity Ball is a great tool to start with.
Why A Gravity Ball™ Is Great For Adaptive Athletics
The adjustable straps allow you to secure the Gravity Ball safely to your hands or feet which allows individuals with grip-strength limitations and/or other physical limitations a way to use weighted equipment in a safe manner.
The removable straps (shown above, attached to the orange Gravity Ball and to the blue Gravity Ball on the far right) allow you to do behind-the-head movements and hands free exercise.
Note: Before beginning any type of resistance exercise program, be sure to be learn what exercises to do from an instructor or therapist to make sure you’re doing the exercises safely and with correct form. Each of these exercises should be performed (or not performed) based on your own abilities. Now let’s get into the exercises!
How To Use A Gravity Ball™ For Adaptive Athletics:
The Gravity Ball™ leg lift can be done by securing a Gravity Ball™ to your foot using the adjustable Velcro straps. Slowly raise each leg out to 90 degrees or as you are able to before slowly lowering the weight down. Repeat on other leg. ***It is recommended to perform this exercise with your physical therapist or an fitness instructor specifically trained in adaptive athletics.
The Gravity Ball™ hip and leg mobility stretch can be held for up to a minute on each leg to improve mobility in the hamstrings and hips. ***It is recommended to perform this exercise with your physical therapist or an fitness instructor specifically trained in adaptive athletics.
Gravity Ball™ arm lifts can be done using the Gravity Ball’s loop straps which allow you to slide your hands through and use them without having to grip the weight. Slowly lift and lower the Gravity Ball while pulling your arms away from the weight for added challenge. ***It is recommended to perform this exercise with your physical therapist or an fitness instructor specifically trained in adaptive athletics.
Gravity Ball™ torso rotations can be done using the Gravity Ball’s loop straps. Slip both hands through the loop straps and hold the Gravity Ball straight out in front of you. Slowly rotate your arms from side to side and rest as needed. ***It is recommended to perform this exercise with your physical therapist or an fitness instructor specifically trained in adaptive athletics.
Other Gravity Ball™ exercises include:
Upper Body -
Seated Arm Press
Seated Arm Raise [Can also perform side to side (lateral) arm raises]
Bent Over Rows
Lower Body -
Leg Lifts & Leg Circles
Leg Cross Overs
Marches w/ Gravity Ball secured to foot
Kicks w/ Gravity Ball secured to foot
Sit to stands (as able)
These are just some of the adaptive exercises that are possible with a Gravity Ball™. Try it for yourself and see what you can come up with.