When you go to a Pilates studio, they will have props as well as equipment. One of my favourite props to use is the Mini Stability Ball, a soft green ball that we blow up using a small bicycle pump. I use this ball in nearly every class to help clients reduce pain and discomfort.
If I am in the midst of a class and a client tells me that something hurts – their shoulder, their wrist, their calf, or their ankle – I usually pause for just a few moments and get them a stability ball. Their pain diminishes quickly, and then we continue on with the class.
If a client has come to me with a specific concern – a sprain, sports injury, car accident – I always work the fascial movement into their classes.
The green stability ball is one of the most useful props in a Pilates studio.
1. Wrist Pain
Placing the ball under your wrist and pretending like you’re chopping vegetables helps to relieve wrist pain, and to manage shoulder discomfort. If a client’s wrist is in pain from a sprain or from bearing too much weight on it, we use the ball under the wrist.
2. Shoulder discomfort
I tell clients to stick the ball under their armpit and grab their wrist with the opposite hand. This gentle tug helps release the shoulder, which is especially helpful if the client’s shoulders are up by their ears because of their desk job or because it’s cold outside and they’ve been bracing themselves against the wind or the rain.
3. Pelvic floor tension
Most of us have a tight pelvic floor and don’t realize it. We’re taught to do Kegel exercises to strengthen our pelvic floor, but it’s just as important to relax it. Sitting on the ball for ninety seconds can help reduce the tension we hold in our pelvic floor.
4. Ankle pain
Sit in a chair and place the ball under your foot. When you roll the ball forward, you should feel a stretch in your calf. When you roll the ball in a circular motion, it relieves discomfort in your ankle. Stretching your calf and mobilizing your ankle for just a few minutes using the ball can significantly reduce pain and tightness in your muscles and joints.
You can even bounce your head on a mini stability ball if you’ve got a headache.
It looks a little silly – and feels even sillier – but it works every time.
Purchase a mini stability ball here https://www.merrithew.com/shop/ProductDetail/ST06115_Mini-Stability-Ball–Medium