An exercise ball is an elastic, bouncy ball that usually measures 14 to 34 inches or 35-85 centimeters in diameter with other sizes available for other uses. This inflatable exercise ball is otherwise known as a Swiss ball, Swiss exercise ball, physioball, or stability ball.
Exercise balls are used in different exercise routines. They can also be used for rehabilitative applications. In fact, these balls originated from being kids’ toys that were later used for neurological rehabilitative purposes. In the following years, exercise balls were used by athletes. Today, they are used by fitness enthusiasts, seeing the numerous benefits and applications.
Benefits of exercise balls for your routine
The main benefit of using an exercise ball with your regular routine is that it strengthens your core muscles as you try to keep your balance with the ball. Your abdominal and back muscles are particularly benefited when using an exercise ball.
Apart from this wonderful benefit, here are other reasons why using a ball for exercise is great for you:
- It involves more muscles in your exercise without the need to increase the total load in your routine
- It is an inexpensive way to exercise. Even though some exercise ball routines may require you to use other equipment, such as the workout bench or dumbells, you can exercise with your exercise ball alone.
- Exercise ball is a very handy equipment that you can use on your standing, sitting, and lying exercise routines.
- Aside from strengthening core muscles, using an exercise ball helps develop balance, flexibitliy, mobility among your joints, improving your reaction time, and righting your reflexes.
- Exercise ball also helps develop proper posture and helps prevent neck, shoulder, and back pain.
- Using the exercise ball as a chair can even help burn calories.
Routines you can do with exercise balls
There are there are so many forms of exercise you can do with an exercise ball. Among the popular routines include ball push-ups, squats, squat and reach, curl-ups, sit-ups, dumbbell press, arm-leg extension, triceps extension, leg curl, plank, and backbend stretch.
Buying the right exercise ball size
The best exercise ball is the one that is the right size for you. This will help make your exercise ball routines more effective and efficient.
You can try either of the following ways to buy exercise ball:
- Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. When your hips and your knees form a right angle (90 degree angle), that is the right exercise ball size for you.
- You can also match the exercise ball size with your height. If you are tall, a big exercise ball would fit you. If you are rather short, then a small exercise ball would be great for you.
You can use this ball size guide:
- Under 5’ tall = 55cm exercise ball
- 5’-5’7” = 65 cm exercise ball
- 5’8”-6’2” = 75 cm exercise ball
- Over 6’2” = 85 cm exercise ball
If you are confused on which size to get, it is better to choose a large exercise ball.
Other things to remember when using an exercise ball
- Consult your doctor before using an exercise ball;
- Aside from choosing the right exercise ball size, be sure to use one that is properly inflated;
- Wear appropriate exercise attire, such as the right shoes to help you grip the floor and the right clothes to manage your sweat;
- Use workout mat underneath to give the exercise ball a better grasp when you are trying to balance; and
- Maintain proper posture during your exercises by either keeping your back straight or by avoiding locked knees.