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How to Choose an Exercise Ball

by Tricia Goss

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Woman working out with an exercise ball

Incorporating an exercise ball into your workout routine or simply your normal daily activities can be beneficial in many ways. You will increase your core muscles and balance, strengthen your back and improve your posture. You can even lose weight and improve fitness almost automatically by swapping your desk chair for an exercise ball, as the moving and readjusting you will do during the day burn extra calories. It is important that you choose the right exercise ball in order to reap these fitness benefits and more.

Choosing an Exercise Ball:

  1. Choose the right size exercise ball for your height. Most exercise balls come in three sizes: 55 centimeters, 65 centimeters and 75 centimeters. If you are over six feet tall, choose a large exercise ball. If you stand under 5-foot-3, opt for the smallest exercise ball. Everyone else should choose the medium ball.

  2. Select an exercise ball that is the next larger size if you have a short torso and long legs or if you plan to use the exercise ball as an office chair. To ensure that you choose the right size of exercise ball, sit on the inflated ball with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Your thighs and calves should form a straight, 90-degree angle.

  3. Choose a burst-resistant exercise ball. This will prevent the ball from popping or tearing if, for example, it bumps into the corner of your desk while you are sitting on it. If you plan to use the exercise ball while weight lifting, be sure to buy a ball that is capable of supporting the extra weight. A good rule of thumb is to select a ball that will hold up to two or three times your core body weight.

  4. Choose an exercise ball with a spiky or bumpy texture if you plan on using it for working out. This will help prevent the ball from rolling as well as help you avoid slipping off if you are sweaty. If you are using the exercise ball as a chair on a carpeted floor, you can opt for a smoother exercise ball.

  5. Pick an exercise ball in a color you like. While the color of the exercise ball might not seem like an important factor, consider the fact that you likely intend to use your exercise ball regularly. If you find the appearance of the exercise ball appealing, you will be much likelier to use it.

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