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What to Look for When Purchasing a Stability Ball

by
author image Dustin Bogle
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Stability Ball
A woman exercising on a mat with a stability ball. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Stability balls, also known as fitness balls, Swiss balls or exercise balls, are popular fitness tools that can help to improve all-around fitness. You can use a stability ball to perform cardiovascular, muscle building and balance exercises. Be sure to consider your fitness goals and other needs when purchasing a stability ball.

Burst Proof

Only use burst-resistant stability balls, which may be labeled as burst-proof stability balls. This is especially important when exercising with dumbbells or any other kind of weights while you are on the ball. A damaged ball should slowly deflate rather than burst, as a ball that essentially explodes can cause a person to drop to the floor and become injured. Burst-resistant exercise balls are labeled with a weight limit to their effectiveness.

Size

Stability balls are sold in sizes ranging from 45 to 85 cm. Your height determines which ball is right for you. When sitting on a stability ball, your thighs should be parallel to the floor at a 90-degree angle, and your hips should be in line with or slightly higher than your knees. If you are between 5 ft. 1 in. tall to 5 ft. 7 in. tall, for example, buy a ball that is 55 cm.

Stiffness

The round surface of a stability ball offers enough instability to challenge your muscles. A ball that is low in air reduces this benefit. If the ball flattens out when you sit or lie down on it, the surface is similar to a flat bench and less like a ball. Keep your stability ball fully inflated to reap the optimal fitness benefits.

Price

Stability balls are available in a wide range of prices, depending on brand, quality and durability. Pick a ball that best fits your budget and fitness goals. If you plan to use the stability ball for body-weight exercise, use a basic ball. If you want to perform weight-training exercises on the stability ball, choose a durable ball.

Availability

Several manufacturers produce trusted brands of stability balls in many sizes and colors. Look for a stability ball that fits your needs at a local department store, a fitness equipment store or online. Also, notice if the ball is packaged with a pump; if not, use a bike pump or air compressor to pump up the stability ball.

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