Considering the Variety of Exercise Balls and Accessories - dummies

Considering the Variety of Exercise Balls and Accessories

By LaReine Chabut

Personal trainers and physical therapists are using all kinds of new exercise balls that come in different shapes, sizes, and weights, along with accessories that go with them. You can see all these different kinds of balls on ball racks at the gym.

Using a heavy (weighted) exercise ball

Heavy balls, or weighted balls, are smaller weighted balls that range from 1 pound to 12 pounds. They’re versatile because they’re hollow inside and are filled with water or sand, which offers a great alternative to hand weights and dumbbells.

You can use heavy balls to train for throwing and catching drills, squatting, lunging, and jumping. They provide a natural range of motion that helps improve your golf swing or enhance the swing of a bat. Heavy balls are extremely effective for targeting the muscles in your upper body because their small, round shape allows you to use them through a full range of motion and improve your grip at the same time.

Exercise ball accessories to consider

When you purchase your new ball, it probably will come with a catalogue of other products and fun accessories that you can use with it. These accessories can be anything from a faster, simpler air pump to a stability cushion that looks like a pancake, which you use to train your entire core.

Here are some of the most popular accessories that you can get:

  • Mini ball (20 cm): This mini ball, sometimes called a Pilates ball, is most commonly used as a stress reliever. You place it between your upper back and the wall and roll up and down in a wall squat to relieve tension in your back.

  • Medicine balls (2 pounds up to 8 pounds): Medicine balls are smaller balls that make ideal training tools by adding resistance without the use of cumbersome hand weights.

  • Stretching ball 75 cm: This ball is made for stretching only and is larger than most exercise balls used for aerobics and strength training.

  • Ball net: A ball net is made of a net-like material and has a handle, which you use to transport your ball anywhere you want to go — without it rolling out into the street!

  • Sit-n-Gym: This accessory, also called a ball with legs, is great if you need extra support to balance on the ball. It has four small protrusions that act as “legs” for additional balancing on the ball.

  • Ball base: You use this base to store your ball in your home or at work, so you don’t have to worry about your dog or cat hurting himself on the ball when you’re not home. Or you may just want to know where your ball is at all times.

  • Carrying strap: You can adjust this strap to any individual ball size for the added convenience of toting your ball with you wherever you go.

  • Ball stacker: This accessory is a stacking system for multiple balls that keeps them secured in your home gym. Plus, a ball stacker keeps them looking nice and organized.

  • Plug puller: This accessory looks like a corkscrew or a bottle opener, and you use it to pull the plug out of your ball for easier inflating.

  • Physio Rolls: This device is a peanut-shaped ball that gives you better control. This is highly recommended for seniors because it provides more stability than the round exercise ball. This ball is sometimes called an “hourglass ball” because it’s shaped just like an hourglass!

  • Air-pump adapter: You add this device to an air compressor for faster ball inflation.

  • Balance disc: This stability disc is a circular cushion you can use for standing, kneeling, or sitting to help you develop balance and coordination. The disc is made of a rubber-like material and looks like a pancake that’s filled with air.