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Book review: Strength ball training (3rd ed.) – Goldenberg & Twist

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strengthball
RRP: $33.95

Ever find yourself staring blankly at the equipment in your gym trying to figure out what to do with it? Books like this can provide some great inspiration and tips to help keep your workouts fresh and interesting.

The blurb promises that this third edition of Strength Ball Training delivers more exercises, programmes, assessments and videos (online access provided to accompany the text) than its predecessors. Incorporating balls into your fitness routine can add a unique element of variety to your training and they are great for developing strength, balance, coordination, core power and stability.

What’s inside it?

More exercise options involving stability and medicine balls than you can poke a stick at (literally hundreds of pages worth). There’s information on the benefits of training with them, how to assess yourself and measure progress, and programmes to follow.

The bulk of the book is divided into chapters of exercises that address specific body areas including core stabilisation, core rotation, legs and hips, chest, shoulders and upper back, abdominals, lower back and glutes, biceps, triceps and forearms, whole body movements, and flexibility exercises.

My main concern with fitness books is the lack of realtime visual and instructional cues that can’t be replicated without an actual personal trainer standing in front of you. I always recommend that beginners, inexperienced exercisers or people who haven’t trained in a while should see an exercise professional to assess basic movements at bare minimum before delving into creating their own programmes (this can help prevent injury further down the track if you are performing something incorrectly). However, this book does have the benefit of coming with access to an online video library to help with visual cues which is better than you will get with most texts.

Each exercise is accompanied by black and white photos of the start and finishing movements, along with setup, movement and finish instructions. Tips and progressions are also provided.

Another point to note is that Strength Ball Training is more technical than your typical average workout guide, delving into the anatomy and physiology behind stability training and the research behind it. This isn’t something I’d likely have on my bookshelf if I just hit the gym every now and then; this is a comprehensive guide – a textbook, really – to strength ball training more suited for keen training enthusiasts or fitness instructors.

Read it if…

You’re an experienced exerciser and want to mix up your training routine with some new equipment and challenging movements. It’s great for outside-the-box thinking on how to use just a few pieces of equipment in many different ways.

Grab a copy at selected book stores or from www.humankinetics.com.

Image / Supplied

Ange is a personal trainer, figure skating coach, wife, mother-of-one, and yoga instructor based in Auckland, New Zealand.

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