Sometimes innovation happens by simply changing the context, as with the Swiss fitness ball. Originally used in a physical therapy context 40 years ago, it has made it way into fitness facilities and homes as a low cost, multi-purpose fitness tool.
The Stability Ball’s clinical application began with Dr. Susan Klein-Vogelbach, a Swiss Physical Therapist in the early 1960's. It was made by an Italian toy maker, Aquilino Cosani, and sold primarily in Europe as the Gymnastik. The Stability Ball had met with success in the world of clinical rehabilitation and move into sport fitness in the 1980's.
On a recent trip to the gym I actually interacted with the oversized ball, and to my surprise I quickly recognized the variety, support and flexibility it provided to my routine that far exceeded the floor mat or weight bench in building one's core strentgh.
A Brief History
Swiss Ball Book
Video of Exercises