The Best Way to Blow Up an Exercise Ball

Blowing up your exercise ball to the right size is important for a safe, effective workout.
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An exercise ball can revitalize your workout routine. Also called a Swiss ball, balance ball or stability ball, an exercise ball works your core and just about every other major muscle group, too. Physiotherapists use exercise balls to treat patients who've had surgery or been in an accident.

The ball itself is made of rubber and must be inflated in order to use it. Blowing up an exercise ball and only takes a few steps.

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Things You'll Need

  • Air compressor or hand pump

  • Yardstick

Warning

Do not attempt to blow up your exercise ball by mouth. Check the ball before use to be sure it maintains the correct level of inflation — too little and it won't challenge your balance, too much and it could weaken the ball.

  1. Inspect the exercise ball for damage. Creases and folds are normal, as it will come folded, but any snags or tears will prohibit you from inflating it properly.
  2. Allow some time for the exercise ball to get to room temperature, because if the material is too hot or cold, it'll affect how well it inflates.
  3. Determine the maximum diameter of the ball by reading the manufacturer's instructions (or see below for an example chart). Then make a mark on the wall at the suggested height for the inflated ball, so you can compare and will know when you are finished inflating.
    • 30 to 35 cm if you're < 4'10" (145 cm) tall
    • 45 cm if you're 4'8" to 5'5" (140-165 cm) tall
    • 55 cm if you're 5'6" to 6'0" (165-185 cm) tall
    • 65 cm if you're 6'0" to 6'5" (185-195 cm) tall
    • 75 cm for those over 6'5" (>195 cm) tall
    • 85 cm ball for heavier or long-legged exercisers
  4. Inflate the exercise ball. An air compressor works best, but a hand pump with cone nozzle is also effective. Many models of exercise ball come with a hand pump. Check before buying or ordering one. You may need to order the pump separately from the ball itself.
  5. Insert the plug in the ball and measure it against the mark you made on the wall, when the ball seems fully inflated. This will help to ensure it's reached the proper size. If the ball is too full or not full enough, it can damage the ball and affect the quality of your exercise.

Tip

A properly-inflated ball has a slight, but not pronounced, give to it when you place your full weight on it.

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