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LeBron James is one of the latest celebrities to be spotted using inflatable “bubbles” (sometimes called yoga bubbles
and known by the brand name Waff Mini
), fitness tools that can help with balance and stability.
"Moving from a stable surface to an unstable one recruits more muscles and adds an additional challenge to common strength and conditioning exercises such as squats and balancing on a single leg," says Chris Kuenze, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology specializing in athletic training at Michigan State University. The fullness (which can be manipulated) and the size of the air cushion determines its level of destabilization, Kuenze explains. "The fuller and smaller it is, the more difficult it will be to balance."
THE BOTTOM LINE
Before trying a move on these bubbles, "it's important that athletes master the exercise on a stable surface first," says Kuenze. If you're unsure where to start, ask a trainer for help, he adds.