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How to Choose the Right Exercise Ball for You

Exercise balls may look the same, but they are not created equally. You should choose a ball based on its size, comfort level, and quality. Because you use the ball with so many different body positions while you’re exercising, the size of the ball you use really does make a difference and can make or break your workout.

Selecting the correct exercise ball size

Although using smaller balls can enhance certain exercises and larger balls can support your body weight if you have a bad back, using the right ball for you, which means one that is measured by your height and/or your arm span, makes all the difference in the world.

When you stand next to an exercise ball, it should be even or slightly above your knee level. The best way to size up your ball is by sitting on it. When you sit on the ball, your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your thighs should be parallel or even with the floor. Find your height and see which ball size you should try first.

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You may want to use a larger ball if you:

  • Have longer legs for your height.

  • Are overweight.

  • Have back problems.

  • Are using your ball for a chair or only for stretching.

You may want to use a smaller ball if you:

  • Have shorter legs.

  • Are at the low end of your height range. For example, if you are 5 feet 4 inches, you may want to use a 55cm ball.

Popular brands of exercise balls

Exercise balls range in price from about $20 to $40, depending on the durability of the ball. The following brands are good quality balls that are made to last:

  • Gymnic fitness ball

  • Duraball

  • Fitball

  • Gymnastik

  • Nautilus

If you find another brand that's cheaper, make sure that it's a burst-resistant or anti-burst ball before you buy it. These balls are stronger than others and maintain their shape for longer periods of time.

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