Exercise Balls Buying Guide
One of the best trends in exercise is the exercise ball . Physical therapists have been using exercise balls for years to help patients regain strength. They are a great way to strengthen your "core" with abdominal exercises. Exercise balls, also known as Swiss balls , are also used for stretching and toning, yoga ,Pilates ,aerobics , and cardio workouts . So get the ball rolling and purchase an exercise ball with these helpful buying tips.
How to Choose the Right Size
Exercise balls come in several different sizes. Choose the size that is right for you by finding your height on the chart on the right. If you want to test that the ball is the right size for you (it's especially useful to do a test if you are on the cusp of one of the size categories), sit on the ball as if it were a chair and make sure your hips are level with your knees, or just slightly higher. The chart to the right merely serves as a guide, of course. Those with longer legs will need a bigger ball than those with shorter legs. If you are undecided between two sizes, go with the bigger size (you can deflate the ball a bit to make it the perfect size for you). If you will use the ball primarily for exercises performed on your back, choose a smaller ball. If you are heavier, you should opt for a bigger ball, but not one that is so big that your feet can hardly touch the floor!
How to Choose the Right Type
Exercise balls come in two basic types: standard and burst-resistant .
Choose a standard ball if...
- You are average to light weight for your size and shape.
- You will be using the ball for stretches or light exercises.
- Your house is fairly free of sharp objects or pets with sharp claws.
- You won't be lifting weights on the ball.
Choose an extra heavy duty burst-resistant ball if...
- You are overweight, obese, very muscular, or have a large build.
- You will be lifting weights while on the ball.
- You have children, pets with sharp claws, or stray sharp objects that may fall on the floor.
- You would rather be on the safe side.
- You'll be using the ball several times a day.
- You'll be using the ball for intense workouts.
Less Than 4'11"
4'11" - 5'3"
5'4" - 5'10"
5'11" - 6'4"
How to Use the Exercise Ball
There are a variety of different types of workouts you can do with an exercise ball. Your best bet if you are new to the world of exercise balls is to buy an exercise ball workout video or book . However, here is a basic overview of the types of exercises you can do.
- Use the exercise ball as your new weight bench and work out your legs, butt, and abs!
- Doing traditional exercises such as twists or crunches on the exercise ball incorporates more muscles into the exercise.
- Yes, even just sitting on the ball can makeover your body!
- Sit on the ball while watching television or at the computer to perfect your posture.
- Try simple exercises like raising one leg while sitting on the ball and holding it.
- Incorporate the exercise ball into your yoga or Pilates routine.
- Even just lying down and stretching out your body on the ball can work out all those kinks that build up.
- It's a ball, so have a ball. Tossing it back and forth with a friend is a great workout too!