About AOK Health Mediball

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AOK Health manufactures a heavy weight ball which resists compression when under load - such as when sitting or exercising. This provides 6 essential benefits:
  • Using mediBall as a seat/bench you can move easily while maintaining optimal lordosis/posture.
  • The mediBall feels firm and substantial which promotes confidence during sitting or exercise.
  • While exercising it slows the reaction speed of the mediBall so that the proprioceptive/sensory pathways are stimulated through the entire range of motion.  There are no `blind spots’ due to ballistic motion.
  • Retains its spherical form and thus instability to enhance the body’s stabilisation responses.
  • Promotes long life due to resistance to wear and tear for uses indoors and outside.
  • Extra safety due to Anti-Burst capacity to 500kg.
Increased Kinesthetic Awareness
Because of the unstable nature of the ball, you areforced to be intrinsically aware of the positioning of their body in space.

Prime Mover Strength
Free or cable weights, and theraband resistance exercises can be performed on the mediBall.  Exercises such as the dumbbell press can isolate the prime movers to perform the action, while the stabilisers and neutralisers are working to prevent any other unnecessary movement.
Because of the high neural demand of mediBall training, the reps and sets performed can be minimal to gain a training effect.  Time efficiency is as important as any other factor of training.

Stabiliser/Neutraliser Strength
Because the ball is unstable, the various stabiliser muscle groups are challenged. If you are unstable, the stabilisers engage to prevent you from falling off the ball.  Good strength and endurance function in joint stabilisers can not only have a performance enhancing role, but may also play a role in injury prevention in the long run. You will be able to hold form longer, leading to better efficiency.

Dynamic Flexibility
Flexibility training on the ball has the advantage of training a certain degree of strength at the end range. Having strength at the end of a range of motion not only prevents injury (most muscle tears occur at end range) but allows you to have control throughout the full potential of the movement while muscles are lengthening (eccentrically contracting). Because the movements come from a stable core, coaches can isolate specific areas for flexibility training and reach goals quickly (distal mobility on core stability).

Core Strength & Control
The concept of core stability should be taught in a stable environment (ie on the floor) initially, and then that stability can be easily challenged by geting on the ball.  You should be able to control movements performed on the ball by using your core stability.  Many abdominal strengthening exercises can be performed on the ball in a variety of positions, allowing eccentric, isometric and concentric contraction.  Oblique abdominii, rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis may all benefit from these exercises, unlike traditional rectus abdominis work.

Balance
The unstable nature of the ball forces you to make constant weight shifts while on the ball, to find your best balance points.

General Health & Dynamic Sitting
Sitting on mediBall corrects this problem found in all conventional seating.  The surface tension and curve of mediBall adjusts to your body weight and tilts the pelvis gently forward.  The advantage is that the angle between the thighs and trunk is wider so that the hamstring muscles tendency to tip the pelvis backwards is less than when sitting on a conventional seat.
Therefore it is easier to resume or maintain normal back posture (lumbar lordosis), by activating the extensor muscles of the back and tightening the abdominal muscles.  Since the hamstring muscles retain their tendency to tip the pelvis backwards, the extensor muscles of the lumbar region must constantly be activated to compensate and keep the back in its balanced position and in shape. The slight instability of mediBall reinforces this activity.
The body easily learns a new behaviour pattern - dynamic sitting.  The development of body awareness is critical to protection of the lumbar spine and general well being.  Using mediBall allows the body to adopt better posture through thousands of small and often repeated corrections.  This encourages reflex responses to correct posture - dynamic sitting stimulates both muscles and sensory receptors.  Combined with therapy treatment and advice this is a potent tool in the long term management and prevention of back pain.

Movement in a pain-free range of motion stimulates receptors, exploiting a natural role of pain inhibition.
The instability of the mediBall, requires continual small postural corrections while sitting. For most people these corrections reduce pain.
For people who are reluctant to move their low back following a painful episode, sitting on the mediBall encourages mobilisation of the body in a gentle and controlled manner.

Recent evidence shows that low back stabilisation training can positively affect recovery from Low Back Pain. Use of the mediBall encourages active sitting postures, offering a highly functional opportunity to reinforce active stabilisation.
This also encourages integration of a variety of sensory stimuli – from your joints, muscles, inner ear and eyes – which allow your body to operate at its functional best.  This is not possible with conventional seating and it is now known to be essential in long term rehabilitation.
The mediBall can also be used as part of a spinal stabilisation exercise program.  AOK promote a simple German personalised program - over 600,000 treatments to date.

A major problem in achieving good posture is the difficulty of avoiding habituated postures such as in conventional sitting. We all tend towards habituated postures when our attention is distracted by functional tasks such as computer work or typing.
The mediBall encourages a “S” shape  in your lower back, both to centre your body mass over the ball and to provide a stable pelvis on which to balance your upper body.
Slumping is discouraged by sitting on the mediBall, as this posture increases the ball’s instability.
The static loading of passive lumbar spine structures may be a cause of low back pain, such as in the McKenzie Postural Syndrome. The continual gentle postural correction required whilst sitting on the mediBall reduces this static loading and reduces both pain and tiredness.