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Buying An Exercise Stability Ball | Easy and Effective Home Workouts

Updated on March 28, 2011

Physical exercise conditions the body in three ways - strength, endurance and stability. Stability is one aspect that is most overlooked in exercise but is very important. It improves balance and body posture. One way that stability can be trained is with a gym ball, also known as an exercise ball.

An exercise ball is an inflatable ball made of PVC that is often used in physical exercise, physiotherapy and atheletic training. It can also be incorported into part of a weight training program. These gym balls come in variable sizes ranging from 35 to 85cm in diameter.

Compared to a hard surface like the ground, the ball is unstable and moves around, hence the body's muscles have to work harder to compensate and maintain balance. This trains and tones the core body muscles like the abs and back. Due to the nature of exercises involved with the gym ball, it is suitable for people of all ages.

The light bouncy ball that looks deceptively flimsy can actually take some serious weight!
The light bouncy ball that looks deceptively flimsy can actually take some serious weight!

How to choose a gym ball

To choose a suitable size of the gym ball, simply match the size of the ball to your height. Sit on the inflated ball and make sure your hips are level or just slightly higher than the knees. A rough guide is as follows:

55 cm diameter ball - 4'11" - 5'4"
65 cm diameter ball - 5'5" - 5'11"
75 cm diameter ball - 6'0" - 6' 7"

For the overweight or obese, the good news is that exercise balls can often hold 600 or more pounds and most have an anti-burst feature. This means that if punctured or there is a leak, the balls would slowly deflate rather than burst, reducing the risk of injury to the user.

User Benefits

With a gym ball at home ...

  • There is nothing heavy to lift, no jumping and panting. Just you, the ball, and balance!
  • Save space! Simply deflate the ball to store away when not in use!
  • No more curious stares. Fool around on the ball without feeling embarrassed
  • Have fun rolling around on the ball while watching tv and exercising at the same time!
  • Everyone in the family can use it.
  • For the active, combine some serious strength workouts with weights
  • For ladies, use the ball to increase flexibility and tone your torso.
  • For seniors, the ball can help in stretching and physical therapy
  • There is very low risk of any injury with the ball.

Compared to other more expensive equipment, the gym ball is not only an exercise tool, it is FUN. It combines exercise and play into a complete round package!


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