It is very likely that you have seen one: a 9-inch inflatable exercise ball, suitable for performing various Pilates and abdominal exercises. The official websites states that doing abdominal workout on the Bender ball will increase the efficiency of the exercises with 408 percent in comparison to the regular exercises.
The Bender Ball is 408% More Efficient – Or So They Say
When you buy the Bender Ball, you will receive instructions regarding the way in which you should inflate the ball, the exercises you should perform, the placement of the ball, the breathing method you need to use, and so on. The ball will be placed either behind the lower back, between the knees, or under the hips.
The problem is that in the DVD you get with the ball, there is no explanation regarding the frequency you should do the exercises, the duration, intensity, and so on. They just show you how to do the exercises. There are three levels of exercises, each of them being more intense than the other. There are various stretching exercises presented as well, which can be useful.
Even if it states that the exercises done on the Bender Ball are more efficient with 408 percent, the science behind it isn’t explained. It is more than likely that it is something made up, for marketing purposes.
According to various scientific studies, the main key when it comes to abdomen exercises is to increase the range of motion. The higher the range of motion is, the higher the effects are. For example, exercises done on the floor, are less useful than those done on a ball. It is true that if the ball is smaller, like the Bender Ball is, the range of the motion is higher.
Even so, even if the benefits are higher in comparison to exercises done on the floor or on larger balls, the 408 percent is an exaggeration.
Buy It Only If You Absolutely Must Have It
The Bender Ball is useful, but so are the larger balls, or the foam roller, or other similar “devices”. It is true that the Bender Ball, and other similar devices increase the muscle activity in comparison to the standard crunches people do on the floor.
In the infomercials it is stated that the results will be seen very soon, but since it is an infomercial, it is unlikely that it is true. Do not expect to see too many results when using the Bender Ball. It enhances the effects of the work-out, but not in the manner described in the infomercials.
On top of that, if you would want to work-out your entire body, you need to do other exercises as well. Choose the Bender Ball only if you have some extra money, and you really want to test it. Otherwise, it is not recommended. You can buy a foam roller or a bigger ball for less money.
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