In this article, sports and recreation expert, Dr. Laura Miele-Pascoe, discusses two types of training equipment that were once used only as part of specialized training regimens, but can now be found in almost any gym or training facility.
Balance Equipment: Stability & Balance Balls
At the forefront of fitness, many gyms and personal trainers have adopted specialized exercises and fitness equipment for use with their clients. In my own personal training business, I have used customized routines to unleash tremendous results in the athletes I work with. Where I have seen some gyms and trainers go wrong, however, is when specialized training methods trickle down to less capable individuals, who may not have the strength, balance, or flexibility to safely perform certain exercises.
In this article, I discuss two types of training equipment that were once used only as part of specialized training regimens, but can now be found in almost any gym or training facility. As with all types of exercise equipment, they must be used safely. I will discuss some of the precautions that gyms and trainers should take if they are going to use this equipment or make it available to their general population.
Stability Balls - are used often in gyms for a variety of exercises, but facility operators and personal trainers need to be aware of the condition of the ball and the functional abilities of their clients.
Bosu Balls - (or balance disc) is typically used for balance exercises. It is a more advanced piece of exercise equipment. Facility operators and trainers must be aware of proper exercise techniques and choose exercises that are appropriate for their clients.
Balance Equipment Precautions
- If not properly ordered, equipment may not be appropriate for gym use.
- Like all fitness equipment, balance equipment must be properly stored, inspected, and maintained.
- Use equipment as intended and follow all manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Balance equipment has a finite life span, busy gyms should inspect equipment regularly, as often as everyday, and replace equipment annually or biannually depending on use.
- Balance equipment can burst. Equipment that show signs of wear must be decommissioned immediately.
- Know your clientele:
- Determine client functionality through assessments.
- Avoid using with an older population or clients with balance impairments.
- Balance training is progressive.
Fitness Facility Investigations
Our experts are often retained to investigate severe injuries in gyms and other fitness facilities. The scope of our investigations will typically include an analysis of how the injury happened and the condition of the equipment and environment in which it occurred.
Dr. Laura Miele-Pascoe is an expert in sport and recreation with specific expertise in personal training, fitness facilities management and injury prevention. She is an accomplished athlete as well as an experienced trainer, coach and teacher. Dr. Miele runs her own business ‘mindoverbodyathletics’ in which she trains and consults athletes in a variety of sports and training methods. Dr. Miele continues to consult schools, athletic directors, coaches, parents, and student-athletes on the importance of preventive tactics in sports.