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Old 08-27-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
Chris Ross
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stability balls vs rings

Hi

just wondering, why is it that the use of rings is well supported in the CF community but stability ball work tends not to be. For example,

performing a pushup with feet elevated with hands on 2 stability balls,

vs

performing a pushup with feet elevated on the rings.

Both provide an unstable environment right? So am I missing something, why no love for the ball?

cheers
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #2
Mike Mallory
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Re: stability balls vs rings

It's not really a tool for conditioning because of the balance challenge, more of a tool for specific needs. If you shred up your stabilizers too fast, then you leave little room for developing metabolic peaks.

It's good tool to mix up for people whose sport demands open-chain specific training, like surfing or snowboarding or something.

I wouldn't worry about it, use it if you need to.......
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:52 PM   #3
Jared Ashley
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Re: stability balls vs rings

In your specific example, stability balls are too big and squishy to make sense. Pushups with feet elevated and hands on two basketballs or medicine balls would be more appropriate.

For a more general answer, I think it's more an issue with the excercises that stability balls are used for than the use of the stability ball in the first place. Supine dumbell presses on a stability ball don't have enough effect at light weight and are dangerous at heavy weight. A bench is better. Seated stability ball presses are similarly ineffective, while standing press is very effective. Most of the crunch/stability ball variations don't work nearly as well in practice as in theory, you're better off with an abmat or GHD, same for back extensions.

Also, how much do rings appear on main-page? ring dips and muscle-ups is about it. Lots of people use them for ring rows, lever progressions, push-ups, pullups, skin-the-cat, and playing around on, but they aren't all that critical. They are however, a very compact, convenient, versitile, easy to make piece of equipment for the at-home CF'er.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
Mike Mallory
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Re: stability balls vs rings

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Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
In your specific example, stability balls are too big and squishy to make sense. Pushups with feet elevated and hands on two basketballs or medicine balls would be more appropriate.

For a more general answer, I think it's more an issue with the excercises that stability balls are used for than the use of the stability ball in the first place. Supine dumbell presses on a stability ball don't have enough effect at light weight and are dangerous at heavy weight. A bench is better. Seated stability ball presses are similarly ineffective, while standing press is very effective. Most of the crunch/stability ball variations don't work nearly as well in practice as in theory, you're better off with an abmat or GHD, same for back extensions.
a few things;

they sell heavy duty swiss balls to use for pushups and stuff like that, only the cheap ones are squishy and useless.

Benching with em is just fine too......have a spotter, dump the weight, or use it in a cage with barbell and big weight.

With a swiss ball, you can hyperextend the WHOLE spine......with heavy weight......you can only get a limited range of motion from an abmat.......GHD has more ROM, but sketchy with weight
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:10 AM   #5
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: stability balls vs rings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ross View Post
Hi

just wondering, why is it that the use of rings is well supported in the CF community but stability ball work tends not to be. For example,

performing a pushup with feet elevated with hands on 2 stability balls,

vs

performing a pushup with feet elevated on the rings.

Both provide an unstable environment right? So am I missing something, why no love for the ball?

cheers
You can't have a love for everything. You pick your tools. If you want to use the stability ball, go ahead. Crossfit MP also doesn't use sandbags or weighted vests to any meaningful amount. Is the push up on stability balls really that great of an exercise that you need to focus your program around it? Your decision.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: stability balls vs rings

take it from a former wrestler, you will benefit much more from basic gymnastics in terms of stability, body coordination/awareness and specific strength. Do not waste your time on stability ball nonsense.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:26 AM   #7
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: stability balls vs rings

Ball are dynamically instable, meaning once you get off center, it wants to keep going off center. Rings are dynamically stable, once you get it off center, it wants to come back to the center. This means you balance on the rings, but have to keep moving the ball around. THat and the awkwardness and difficulty of using a full rom on the ball makes the rings superior.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: stability balls vs rings

Because rings are better.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
Brock Wilson
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Re: stability balls vs rings

One aspect of the balls is that they are hard to quantify. As has already been pointed out, they can be inflated "hard" or "squishy" and that can affect your outcomes.

Now, you can take that to ridiculous extremes and talk about how my rings are 1.5" in diameter and his are 1.25 or my bench press padding is thicker than hers, etc etc. But for the most part, CrossFit prescribes tools that are fairly similar regardless of what variant you get. Again, for the most part.

I love the CrossFit methodlogy, it works great for me, but once in a blue moon, I'll still run a mile on a treadmill so I can get a fixed grade or use the versa-climber, or 1 arm db bench on a stability ball. Constantly varied has room for that stuff now and then, IMO.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
Aushion Chatman
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Re: stability balls vs rings

It's really as simple as Steven said...Rings are better...Push Ups..okay...

In addition to push-ups compare the stability ball vs rings for the following:

planche push ups, muscle ups, front lever, back lever, skin the cat, uprises, swinging dips, inverted hang, kip to support, backward roll to support...handstand work?!
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