How to Pick Out the Right Exercise Ball - dummies

How to Pick Out the Right Exercise Ball

By LaReine Chabut

To get an effective ball workout, you must use a quality ball that is the correct size for your body. 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, you should feel the same way you do when you sit on a chair. 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. For kids who are 5 years and younger, always use a 45 cm ball.

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Look for the following features when you’re shopping for your ball:

  • Weight tested: Manufacturers create balls that can hold up to 1,000 pounds. While the largest weight-tested ball may not be necessary for your needs, check a ball’s specifications before you purchase it. Make sure that your exercise ball has been weight tested to hold at least 600 pounds or more.

  • Burst resistant: Balls are now made of tougher materials that are more puncture resistant. Because the worst ball injuries generally occur from falls to the ground if a ball bursts, get the strongest ball possible to prevent this from happening. In addition, the more puncture resistant your ball, the longer it’s likely to last in case it accidentally rolls over or into any sharp objects.

  • Slow deflation: A ball that deflates slowly if punctured reduces the risk of injury. Deflation rate is important because injuries can occur if a ball bursts and deflates suddenly, causing you to fall to the ground.

    Injury risk increases if you’re holding dumbbells because of the added weight and strain on your arms. If you’re holding onto a weight, you don’t have the use of your hands to catch yourself. A slow-deflation ball is worth the extra $5 to $10 it may cost.