2018, Volume 14, Issue 1
Swiss ball as a tool supporting the learning of safe smashing (ukemi) and shaping the balance of the body for trainers, sport instructors and Physical Education teachers
Agnieszka Rauk-Kubacka1, Rafał Kubacki1, Jarosław Maśliński1, Dariusz Harmaciński1, Juliusz Migasiewicz1, Paweł Piepiora1
1Faculty of Sports Sciences, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
Author for correspondence: Rafał Kubacki; Faculty of Sports Sciences, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Many years of professional practice of the authors of this study indicates that it is “Swiss ball” that is the best tool for learning ukemi and body balance. The Swiss ball was produced in the 1960s in Italy. There are many studies in which “Swiss ball” was used as a tool to activate specific muscle groups, especially the abdominal muscles, as well as to improve the stability of the body and the economisation of effort. The aim of the work is the recommendation of the possibility of using “Swiss balls” as a tool supporting learning to fall as anti-traumatic prophylaxis.
Material and Methods: “Swiss balls” are inflated rubber balls originally produced in Italy under the name “Pezzi balls”, currently offered by various companies, of varying quality and in different sizes and even different shapes. The balls with diameters 55.65 and 75 cm are most often used. The vast majority of these balls can withstand a load of 200kg and more. Exercise people put on the ball, on the stomach, arms, legs and head are close to the ball creating the so-called. “Frog position”. In this way, they learn to keep their balance and control the forward, backward and side tilts. This arrangement of the body is the basic element preceding the controlled roll-up of the ball with the ball. It is important that the ball is properly selected to the student's body height. The research on the suitability of the use of balls was carried out on blind and visually impaired people practising “Gold ball” in the Wrocław sports club, as well as on children attending kindergarten and school in the number of 500 people.
Results: Practical application of the Swiss ball based on three phase: the first consists in allowing the exercising person to familiarise him or herself with the ball by means of introductory exercises; second, includes exercises proper performed under the instructor’s supervision and protection (in this phase the difficulty of exercises is increased, which requires a great deal of attention from the instructor; In the third phase, exercises properly is performed by the exercising persons on his or her own, without the instructor’s protection.
Conclusions: The use of “Swiss balls” to learn the balance of body ukemi is an innovative approach in the broadly understood anti-traumatic prevention in the event of sudden collisions and falls. Exercises with the ball cause a better understanding and quicker absorption by the practising movement structure than in the classic teaching approach of ukemi. The classes themselves are more interesting and create a sense of fun, which is not without significance when working with children and teenagers.
Key words: anti-traumatic prophylaxis, fall injury prevention, “Gold ball”