Exercise Ball Stretching

Exercise ball stretching can add a new dimension to your exercise routine. Using the exercise ball can create variety in your stretching routine and allow for greater joint ranges during your activities.

Exercise Ball Stretches
Stretching Precautions
Stretching Contraindications
Stretching Exercises Guide

  Good flexibility allows us to do our daily tasks with minimal effort and strain. More demanding tasks such as running, jumping, or swimming are also easier if your joints can be moved through their full range with minimal effort. Good flexibility minimizes the risk of injury by allowing our joints to move through their full range of motion without putting strain on capsular structures or ligaments.  Stretching exercises help muscles to relax and good flexibility allows us to maintain good posture.

For more information on Stretching Exercises visit

Exercise Ball Stretches

Try this simple regime of static stretches prior to your exercise ball workout or make up your own. Click on each exercise to get a full description.

Exercise Ball Stretching Precautions

  1. Always check with your family doctor or physical therapist prior to beginning any type of new exercise program.
  2. Don't force a joint beyond its normal range of motion. This can lead to instability of the joint.
  3. Be extra careful if you suffer from osteoporosis or are taking steroids. The risk of fractures is elevated.
  4. Avoid aggressive stretching of muscles that have been immobilized in a splint or cast. Connective tissues lose their tensile strength after periods of immobilization.
  5. Stretching needs to progress gradually. It may take several weeks of a stretching program before you see significant results, so don't rush it.
  6. You should not experience more than a transitory discomfort after stretching. pain that lasts longer may indicate the presence of inflammation. The phrase "no pain, no gain" does not apply here.
  7. Avoid stretching swollen or edematous tissues as they are more susceptible to damage.
  8. Avoid over stretching weak muscles.
  9. Make sure you always continue to breath during a stretch. Holding your breath can affect your blood pressure.

Contraindications to stretching

The following should be kept in mind as contraindications to exercise ball stretching:

Joint Instability

Joint instability can be the result of a prior dislocation, fracture, or sprain. Get advice from your physical therapist or orthopaedic surgeon before stretching an area of previous injury.

Diseases Affecting the Tissues Being Stretched>

Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can leave joint structures weakened. Those with connective tissue disorders also have altered connective tissue viscoelastic properties. Stretching  can lead to disability, instability or deformity.

Acute Injury

Consult a physical therapist prior to initiating a stretching program as scar tissue takes time to mature. Premature stretching can cause reinjury and the deposition of more scar tissue prolonging the rehabilitation process.

Vascular injury

Talk to your surgeon if you are recovering from a vascular trauma or are on anticoagulants. Premature or excessive stretching can lead to further vascular injury and thromboembolism.


Consult your family doctor prior to stretcing an area that is infected to avoid tissue damage or spread of the infection.

Excessive Pain When Stretching

If stretching is excessively painful you may be suffering from an underlying medical condition. See your family doctor or physical therapist.

Inflammation or Joint Effusion

Be careful when starting a stretching program around an area of inflammation. Inflammation can change the viscoelastic properties of connective tissues and can cause injury if not undertaken correctly. Aggressively stretching a joint with an effusion can damage capsular structures. See your physical therapist.

If you think any of the above conditions apply to you, seek advice from your physical therapist before starting an exercise ball stretching program. Once you have received clearance from your physician be sure to follow correct methods of stretching so as to avoid injury.

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