Swiss balls are a great way to challenge your body further.You can add resistance by just lifting the ball into the air as you move through a Pilates exercise. The Swiss ball is a relatively light piece of equipment and not too expensive. Lots of different colours to choose from!
I would recommend that you purchase a small electric pump as those hand pumps that included with the balls take longer to pump up the ball. Of course if you purchase a small pump you can also use it for may uses around the home, pool or camping!
Physical Therapists have used balls for many years. Start off with small slow movements. If you are sitting on the ball you can hold the sides of the ball if you are for example lifting your legs alternatively. Then when you are comfortable you can place you hands on your hips, out to the sides and then overhead to increase the challenge.
The ball is an unstable piece of equipment so this will challenge your body if you are sitting on top of it. The simple action of raising ones foot off of the floor one at a time will require, concentration, focus and also strength in the deep muscles that are trying to stabilize your body.
Look for a ball that will be right for your height. Your hips should be level with or above your knees at all times when sitting on the ball.
Measure your ball when you pump it up because quite often the size that the ball will pump up to does not exactly match that on the description on the box.
Make sure that the ball is not too large or too small when you lay over it.
You can clean your ball with warm soapy water or wipe with a damp cloth. Keep it inflated as a ball that is too soft is not going to support your body correctly.
Add the Swiss ball (Yoga ball) into your Pilates exercise to challenge your stability in the bridge exercise for example.
If you have weak back muscles the ball will help you strengthen those muscles while helping you with your balance. Gradually over time the body's nervous system re-builds its pathways and helps to reactivate those muscles that have become for want of a better word 'lazy'.
When laying over the ball adjust the position of the ball to give you the best support and get comfortable. Like any Pilates exercise you do not want to strain you neck or back.
There are a few different sizes of Swiss Balls or Yoga Balls to choose from: