Exercise or fitness balls
Exercise balls, also known as Swiss balls, physioballs, stability balls, and a variety of other creative names that refer to their purpose or origin, are nothing new in the field of fitness and rehabilitation. They have been around for a long time. The Swiss ball, which is made of soft elastic and has a diameter ranging from 35 to 85cm (14 to 34 inches) and is filled with air, was invented in 1963 by Aquilino Cosani, an Italian plastics maker, and was originally known as the “Pezzi Ball”
Physiatrists all around Europe started to utilize the ball within a decade of its invention, including a Swiss physical therapist who was interested in postural re-education and back rehabilitation. After becoming enamored with European techniques of rehabilitation, especially those from Switzerland, a group of American physical therapists took the Pezzi Ball back to the United States, renaming it the Swiss Ball as a result of their experiences there.
So, now that we have established what an exercise ball is and that the terms “physio ball,” “balanceball,” “bodyball,” “gymball,” “Pezi ball,” “Pilates ball,” “yoga ball,” “therapy ball,” and even “Swedish ball” all refer to the same thing, we can look into the numerous benefits that this simple yet ingenious piece of equipment can provide. The following are some of the benefits that an exercise ball can provide. With a Swiss ball, the key advantage is that the body reacts to its instability by maintaining balance, resulting in higher activation of core muscles. This may lead to better back and spinal health, core stability, posture, and muscular balance.
The 20-minute routine
Start by warming up for around 10 minutes, either by brisk walking or walking in place, before beginning this exercise. Once you have been performing these routines for a time, you may go to using a bigger medicine ball to continue to test your strength and endurance as you gain more experience.
To create a no-frills, all-body workout, combine at least five of the routines listed below and cycle through them for 20 minutes.
- Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are a full-body workout that is made more difficult by the use of a medicine ball. They are a wonderful way to get your circulation flowing.
Put your hands in a plank posture with the medicine ball below your hands to begin.
Maintaining a straight back and neck, bring your right knee up toward your chest and hold it there. Extend your left leg and push your left knee up toward your chest quickly. Make certain that your core remains engaged throughout.
Continue for another 30 seconds, moving as quickly as you can without sacrificing form. Rest for 30 seconds after each rep. Repeat the process twice more.
- Overhead squat
Overhead squats work your core —, particularly your lower back — and place a greater demand on your stability than a regular back squat, for example. The act of holding the medicine ball over your head also helps to strengthen the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms. This sort of squat will need you to pay close attention to your form since your range of motion will be different.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and keep the medicine ball straight over your head during the whole movement (see illustration).
- Squat down: Begin to bend your knees and push your hips back, as if you were about to sit in a chair, and hold this position for 30 seconds. Take a break when your thighs are parallel to the ground, and make sure your knees do not bend inward at all.
- While on the ascent, push through your heels, giving your glutes a good squeeze at the summit.
Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.
Circles are a shoulder-burner that will put you to the test. To make the move successful, you must advance slowly and with control.
- Holding the medicine ball straight above, position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Make a fist and begin to move your extended arms in a clockwise motion, “drawing” a circle from the beginning to the conclusion of the action. Your core should twist to accommodate the movement, but your feet should remain in place.
- Then repeat 8 to 10 revolutions in one direction, then switch to the other direction and repeat 8 to 10 revolutions in the other way. Complete all three sets.
- Russian twist
A workout would not be complete without some abdominal exercises. Make certain that you are turning your complete body to each side in order to get the most benefits.
- Position yourself so that your legs are bent at a 45-degree angle out in front of you and your feet are touching the floor. Hold the medicine ball out in front of you with your arms fully extended.
- Using the medicine ball, brace your core while rotating your body and moving it to your right side until it is almost touching the ground.
- Return to the center of the page. Repeat the process on the other side.
3 sets of 20 total repetitions, 10 on each side, should be completed.
- Side lunge
Exercises that include movement from side to side are equally as vital as exercises that involve movement from front to back. A lateral lunge is a terrific exercise to integrate into your workout routine.
- Holding the medicine ball at your breast, position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Take a huge step to the right side of your body. When your foot touches the ground, bend your right knee and sit your hips back into a one-legged squat stance to complete the movement. Maintain the straightness of your left leg.
- Bring your right foot back into the starting position by pushing through it.
Perform three sets of ten repetitions on each side, three times each.
As if normal pushups were not difficult enough on their own, add a medicine ball into the mix! When you do this exercise with a medicine ball, you will experience a significant stretch in your chest. Furthermore, as is often the case, you may simply regress this exercise by bending your knees.
- To begin, assume a pushup stance, but instead of placing your right hand on the floor, lay a medicine ball below your right hand. You may extend your elbows farther than you would in a regular pushup, but make sure your back is not drooping and your neck remains in a neutral position throughout the movement.
- Push yourself to the limit.
- Repeat the same with your left hand and the medicine ball.
- Single-leg deadlift
Single-leg deadlifts test your stability while also isolating one leg at a time, which may help you correct any imbalances you might be experiencing.
- Place your feet together and the medicine ball in front of you, holding it straight out in front of you.
- Bend at the hips, allowing your body to fall forward while keeping your right leg slightly bent, and extend your left leg straight out behind you while keeping your right leg slightly bent Make sure your back is straight, your core is firm, your hips are square to the ground, and your neck is in a neutral position before you begin.
- To return to the upright posture, be sure that your torso is parallel to the ground.
Perform three sets of ten repetitions on each side, three times each.
This workout is deceivingly difficult since it targets your lower back and glutes. Adding the weight of a medicine ball to your upper body increases the difficulty of the exercise.
- Spread your legs out flat on the floor, your arms stretched above, your hands holding a medicine ball, and your toes pointing toward the back wall of the room. As you do this action, be sure that your neck remains neutral.
- Using your abdominal muscles and back and glute muscles, lift your upper body and legs as high off the ground as you possibly can while engaging your core.
- Return to the beginning after a one-second pause at the top.
Perform three sets of ten repetitions.
Medicine ball slams, which are used to increase power and strength, are also cardio exercises, providing a one-two cardio punch. If you have a larger medicine ball on hand, this is the workout in which to put it to use.
- Hold the medicine ball straight over your head, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight.
- Bend forward at the hips and, while keeping your arms outstretched, smack the medicine ball down as hard as you can into the ground.
- Pick up the medicine ball and bring it back to the beginning point of the exercise.
Perform three sets of ten repetitions.
- Toe touch
Finish it up with some additional abdominal training and a little more toe touching.
- Holding the medicine ball in your hands, lie on your back with your arms and legs outstretched and the medicine ball in your hands.
- Lifting your arms and legs straight up to meet over your mid-body while engaging your core, crunch up to guarantee that they connect in the middle.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
Perform 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Best exercise balls in the market
- Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball
Key selling points
- It is comprised of a high-quality, non-slip PVC material that is durable.
- You may save both time and energy by using a foot pump for speedy inflation.
- It may be used for training, pregnant gymnastics, and as an office ball chair to enhance posture and alleviate back discomfort, among other things.
This workout ball is available in six distinct colors and five various sizes, with diameters ranging from 38 to 85 cm in circumference. This ball is exceptionally thick and reinforced with anti-burst material to guarantee that it can endure a great deal of pressure and usage during its lifetime. The exercise ball is ideal for exercising. Additionally, it has a convenient foot pump as well as additional air stoppers.
2. URBNFit Exercise Ball
Key selling points
- It is composed of high-quality PVC plastic and may be used for exercise, yoga, stretching, and pilates at home or at the gym, as well as for stretching.
- It comes with a dual-action inflation air pump that inflates the ball swiftly and efficiently.
- It has the ability to withstand up to 2000 pounds of pressure without exploding.
Various sizes and colors are available for this workout ball, which is available in 11 distinct colors and sizes ranging from 45 to 85 cm. With a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds, this anti-slip and anti-burst ball will never fail you if you put too much pressure on it. The ball is constructed of high-quality PVC and comes with a pump, allowing you to inflate it in minutes with no effort.
3. BalanceFrom Anti-Slip Exercise Ball
Key selling points
- The exercise ball has anti-burst and slip-resistant properties
- It is incredibly simple to clean, using just a gentle wet towel.
- This ball is devoid of phthalates and heavy metals, and it is made entirely of natural materials.
- In addition, a complimentary foot pump is provided.
This training ball is available in seven distinct colors and in a variety of sizes ranging from 38 to 85 cm in diameter. The ball is made of a commercial-grade composite that is very simple to clean with a damp cloth. It also has anti-slip properties, so you will not have to worry about slipping off the ball when playing. Suitable for yoga and strength training, this exercise ball can withstand up to 2000 pounds of pressure and is ideal for both.
4. AmazonBasics Medicine Ball
Key selling points
- It is ideal for conventional medicine ball exercises of all kinds.
- This exercise may aid in the development of balance, core strength, and coordination.
- It is composed of durable rubber that allows it to bounce off hard surfaces with ease.
- The rough coating stops the ball from sliding while being played with.
The workout ball in the accompanying image is from AmazonBasics. It is a weighted medicine ball that is available in weights ranging from 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 lbs. The ball is constructed of rubber and has a rough exterior to guarantee that you have a firm hold on it while you are playing. This medicine ball may be used for a variety of strengthening exercises with relative ease.
5. ProBody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball
Key selling points
- An anti-burst ball with a high-pressure stopper has been designed for this use.
- This workout ball is composed of a soft PVC material that is free of phthalates and other harmful chemicals.
- Trainers and physical therapists recommend this product.
- Increase your balance, flexibility, and core strength with the aid of this exercise.
Barre, pilates, and yoga are all made easier with this bending ball. It is just 9 inches in diameter and weighs 0.2 pounds, yet it is available in a variety of colors to match your decor. It is readily inflated with a straw and is guaranteed not to explode, even when subjected to significant pressure. Additionally, you will get a handy workout guide that includes videos and a chart in addition to the ball.
6. ProBody Pilates Exercise Ball
Key selling points
- The PVC material is soft and low in odor, and it does not include any harmful elements.
- With the help of the pump, you can inflate the ball in a matter of minutes.
- Increases your strength and stability by adding a new level of difficulty to your typical routines.
- It is recommended by physical therapists and gym instructors.
As a result of its anti-slip and anti-burst characteristics, this ball is ideal for a wide range of workouts. Its robust rubber design enables it to withstand weights of up to 2000 pounds. This workout ball is available in nine different colors and five different sizes. Additionally, each ball comes with an inflation pump as well as an activity guide, allowing you to get the most out of your ball.
7. SmarterLife Exercise Ball For Yoga
Key selling points
It has an anti-burst rating, which means it is safe to use with a weight of up to 2000 lbs on it.
This ball also features an anti-slip surface, which makes it easier to maintain a firm grasp on it.
Over time, the overall thickness will keep a more consistent form.
It is protected by a 0.2mm PVC shell to keep it from rolling away.
Because it is constructed of latex-free PVC, it is suitable for those with sensitive skin. It features a nonslip surface, an anti-burst design, and is very adaptable. It is also constructed such that it does not roll away while not in use. This workout ball is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 45 to 75 cm in diameter, as well as a variety of colors. Additionally, in addition to a hand pump and air stoppers, this purchase includes a measuring tape, which allows you to guarantee that your ball is inflated to the right diameter.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Exercise Ball
Individuals utilize exercise balls for a variety of workouts since they are affordable and easy to use. They may aid in the improvement of balance, endurance, and core strength in those who use them. Furthermore, they are quite beneficial in terms of increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. Use these exercise balls for a variety of exercises and even for active seated at your desk at work, depending on your preference.
Do you want to buy an exercise ball? The following buyer’s guide will provide you with some crucial facts that you should be aware of in order to make a more informed purchase:
What materials are utilized in the production of exercise balls?
The following materials are used in the construction of the workout balls. Each substance has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:
The majority of exercise balls are constructed of soft PVC and other materials, which may include NBR, rubber, and TPE, in conjunction with one another. Furthermore, some workout balls are created from recycled materials or are manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner. Protective PVC, which is very elastic and durable, is used to create the balls to ensure that they are not damaged by bursts. As a result of the thicker PVC, there is less possibility that the ball would explode if it is pierced; instead, the ball will slowly deflate.
These workout balls are less popular, and some of them may include latex as a filler. If you have a sensitivity to certain materials, it is important to ensure that the gym ball you choose is latex-free before purchasing.
What factors should you consider while selecting the appropriate exercise ball size?
It should be noted that exercise balls are available in a variety of sizes. Every person is different in terms of height and weight, thus it is essential to carefully pick the appropriate size ball for your body type and height. To ensure that you achieve the proper fit, you should sit on the exercise ball as you would on a chair. If your knees are pointing up and your thighs are low, you should use a huge ball to correct your posture and balance. If, on the other hand, you are unable to readily touch the ground, a smaller exercise ball is required.
The following are some examples of appropriate ball sizes for persons of various heights:
Fitness ball (45 cm) for anyone under 5ft tall (mini).
55 cm workout ball for those between the heights of 5ft and 5ft 8in (small).
65 cm workout ball for those 5ft 9in to 6ft 2in tall (medium).
75 cm workout ball for those above 6ft 3in tall (large).
It is important to note that if you have long legs, are overweight, have back troubles, or just require a ball for stretching, it is advisable to choose a large-sized exercise ball.
What are the most crucial considerations to bear in mind while shopping for an exercise ball?
Some of the most significant considerations to bear in mind while purchasing an exercise ball are the following:
The size that is appropriate
The correct size of the exercise ball is critical in order to get the advantages of the activity. Because every individual is unique and has unique requirements, it is possible that some of these items may need testing. You should consult with your gym trainer or physical therapist in order to determine the appropriate size for your body type and training requirements.
It is important to consider the size! For example, if you are of small stature and choose a ball of the largest possible size, you will not be able to lay your feet on the ground. Exercise will become tough for you as a result, and you will not receive the workout you want as a result of this.
This is really significant since you will be using it on a frequent basis. Check the maximum weight that a ball can sustain before purchasing. Keep in mind that the ball you are purchasing should not be slippery and should not rupture when subjected to a little amount of weight.
It is recommended that you learn about the materials that were used in the construction of the workout ball. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other materials are used to create the balls with anti-slip and anti-bursting qualities. The ball should be devoid of BPA and heavy metals, as well as latex if you have a sensitivity to latex or rubber. PVC is very resilient, and it can generally resist hundreds of pounds of strain without breaking.
What are some pointers for getting the most out of an exercise ball?
Are you a novice who will be using an exercise ball for the first time? Do you have any questions? For individuals that fall under this category, the following are some helpful hints:
Take care of yourself
The most important element to take away from this is that you must teach yourself to have greater balance, mobility, and flexibility. When you initially begin, you will most likely feel imbalanced and uncomfortably uncomfortable. Begin with little steps and for brief periods of time. You will be able to support yourself more effectively as your comfort level increases. Make use of your core and big muscle groups to help you stay focused and balanced throughout your workout.
Put on a shirt.
When you are exercising, do not forget to dress appropriately. Unless you wear a shirt, the perspiration will instantly land on the ball, making it damp and slippery to play with. In certain instances, slipping off the ball might result in catastrophic injury to the player. A shirt may be more comfortable and safer than a jacket, even though the majority of them feature non-slip textured surfaces.
Locate a safe spot.
When exercise balls come into touch with sharp things, they have the potential to rupture. Make certain that you are exercising with the exercise ball in an area where there are no sharp objects or other potential risks. Allow for lots of space so that you can get accustomed to the ball and have enough area to roll.
Best Exercise Balls Frequently Asked Questions
How long do workout balls keep their shape?
In a gym, a standard exercise or swiss ball will last between 1 and 2 years if it is used regularly. It is possible that they will survive as long as five years, depending on how well they are maintained. Make sure to periodically re-inflate yours when it loses air in order to extend its lifespan—just be careful not to overinflate it.
What is the best way to tell whether the workout ball has enough air in it?
The basic guideline is that when you have filled the ball with air, you should sit on it to ensure that it is properly inflated. Take note that it should not be wet or mushy, but it should also not be so tight that there is no give in the material. The firmness and support provided by your exercise ball should be noticeable as you workout, therefore if you realize that it is feeling somewhat softer than usual, it may be time to inflate the ball a little bit more.
Is it possible for an exercise ball to burst?
Everything has a maximum capacity; the same is true for the workout balls as well. Yes, they may rupture if they are subjected to excessive pressure or weight, but keep in mind that they are engineered to resist a great deal of pressure and weight. An exercise ball, depending on its size, can bear a maximum pressure of 2000 lbs on its surface on average.