How to Blow Up an Exercise Ball

Woman doing pushups with her legs on and exercise ball on a tropical beach.
A woman is using an exercise ball on the sand. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

An exercise ball can revitalize your fitness workout. Also called Swiss balls, balance balls or stability balls, exercise balls are known for working your core and can also strengthen every major muscle group. Physiotherapists use exercise balls to treat patients who have undergone 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 is easy and only takes a few simple steps.

Step 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.

Step 2

Allow some time for the exercise ball to get to room temperature because, if the material is too hot or cold, it will affect how well it inflates.

Step 3

Determine the maximum diameter of the ball by reading the manufacturer's instructions. 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. Exercise balls are filled according to size and not air pressure.

Step 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.

Step 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 is at 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.

Things You'll Need

  • Air compressor or hand pump

  • Yardstick

Tip

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

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.

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