How do I Choose the Best Large Exercise Ball?

M.C. Huguelet

With the many different brands and styles of large exercise ball available, it can be difficult to determine which model is best for you. Before purchasing a large exercise ball, it may be helpful to consider a few key points. First of all, you should establish a price point. Next, you should determine which ball size and durability level will best fit your body shape, and consider whether you would like a burst-resistant ball. Finally, you should choose a model in a color you like.

Exercise balls can be used for pushups.
Exercise balls can be used for pushups.

Perhaps the best first step when choosing a large exercise ball is establishing a price point. Decide how much you wish to spend on your ball. Setting a maximum budget may help you to narrow down your choices by eliminating models which are too expensive.

Determine which size of exercise ball will best suit your body shape.
Determine which size of exercise ball will best suit your body shape.

Once you have decided how much you wish to spend on the ball, you should determine which models will best suit your body shape. Size should be one of the most important considerations when selecting a large exercise ball. Balls that are too small usually do not offer an adequate challenge to the core muscles, while those that are too big can make balancing very difficult, thus interfering with your form as you perform a workout. The best ball diameter for you depends upon your height. When seated on a properly-sized ball, your thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor.

Durability should also be an important consideration when selecting a large exercise ball. Generally, you should look for a model made from a somewhat thick material which is firm yet springy when fully inflated. Selecting a sturdy material may be especially important for exercisers who are significantly overweight.

You may also wish to consider whether you want a burst-resistant product. Like any inflatable ball, exercise balls are prone to punctures. To prevent injury, you may want to select a product which is designed to deflate slowly rather than to burst suddenly in the event of a puncture.

After narrowing down your large exercise ball options to products which fulfill your price, size, and durability needs, your last consideration should be the ball’s appearance. Depending on your personal taste, you may wish to select a ball in a bright color or graphic pattern. Alternatively, you may prefer a model with a simpler appearance. For the widest selection of large exercise ball models, you may wish to browse Internet-based sporting goods retailers.

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Discussion Comments

Feryll

There are several people working in my office who have bought the large exercise balls, and they now use the balls instead of their office chairs to sit in. This is supposed to help strengthen the core muscles, too. However, I have read recently that you shouldn't use the exercise ball as a chair because this could lead to some spine problems.

Animandel

@Laotionne - The reason people use exercise balls is because they are good at working the core muscles of the body. To answer your question, yes, there are exercises you can do without the ball that will also strengthen your core muscles. I think the ball is just more convenient and it is a tool to keep you motivated and engaged to workout.

Interestingly enough, the exercise ball was originally devised as a form of therapy tool for people dealing with injuries or conditions that weakened their muscles and disturbed their balances. Then people began to buy exercise balls as exercise tools.

Laotionne

I have been told that I should get an exercise ball to work out with and help me strengthen my muscles and lose weight. I know exercise balls are really popular at the moment. I guess they have been for some time now, but I'm wondering are they really necessary. Aren't there other ways to work the same muscles in the same way without buying an exercise ball and using it?

I'm all for getting one if exercise ball workouts are really going to make a major difference and get me into better shape, but I'm thinking the ball might just end up with the treadmill collecting dust in the corner.

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