How to Buy an Exercise Ball

An exercise ball can be helpful for yoga, Pilates, or simply warming up before a big workout. Your exercise ball must be tailored to your needs, however, or you won't feel comfortable no matter what exercise you're performing. Find out how to buy the right exercise ball for you by following the steps detailed below.

Steps

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    Figure out what size exercise ball you require. How tall are you? The standard recommendations are as follows (your height first, then the ball's):
    • 4'11" to 5'4": 55 centimeter (21.7 in) ball
    • 5'4" to 5'11": 65 centimeter (25.6 in) ball
    • 5'11" to 6' 7": 75 centimeter (29.5 in) ball
    • If you happen to be on the border between two height-ranges, you may want to try out both sizes before you decide on which to buy.
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    Determine what quality of exercise ball you need. Not all exercise balls are designed for every type of exercise. Some are made for light use, while others are more durable for higher-intensity exercise. Look for the following qualities if you want to ensure that it doesn't break beneath you during a workout:
    • Burst resistant - This protects you from dropping to the ground unexpectedly if the ball gets pierced. Instead of popping, it will slowly start deflating, which gives you time to get off of it before you get hurt.
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    • Able to handle higher weight - Remember that you may want to use free-weights while on the ball, so look for a ball that can hold more than just the amount that you weight on your own.
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    • Holds up well to sustained use - You may think that you won't use it a lot over time, but you could find that even though you initially wanted to use it for an occasional workout, you end up having it as a chair-replacement at your office.
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    Locate a store from which to purchase an exercise ball. Most sporting goods stores (e.g. Sports Authority, Big 5) carry exercise balls, and you can usually find them in the sports section of department stores like Walmart and Target.
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    If you can, test your exercise ball before you take it home. Exercise balls are typically sold without air inside them, but that doesn't mean there won't be any inflated ones around for customers to try out. If you do get the chance to sit on a few different exercise balls before selecting which ball to buy, make sure to pick a ball that positions your hips at approximately the same level as your knees.
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    Once you've decided on your exercise ball, start finding out how you can utilize it.
    • For each exercise, you should have a particular area of the body that you're targeting--for instance, check out Do Sit Ups With an Exercise Ball if you want to focus on your abdominals.
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    • If you ever start to experience discomfort using your exercise ball, return it to the store where you purchased it. You may be in need of a new exercise ball or to re-inflate the one you currently have.
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Tips

  • Balls come in both softer and firmer materials. It's important to note that softer balls can be just as strong and durable as ones made of firmer materials. In the end, it's the overall quality that counts, so choose the softer or firmer versions based on your preferences. The softness of the ball only becomes a significant factor if you're planning on using it as a chair on a daily basis and want to make sure that you're comfortable on it.
  • If you need additional help, try an employee of whichever store you choose to visit. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions!

Article Info

Categories: Personal Fitness