Incorporating a stability ball into your exercise regimen can help to improve the quality of your workout. However, it is important to abide by the ball's weight limits to minimize the risk of the device bursting when in use. This, in turn, will help to reduce the odds of injury during the workout.
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Stability balls are named such because the user sits, reclines, kneels or otherwise supports herself on the device while exercising, requiring a focus on maintaining balance during the workout. This requires the use of additional muscles, which can help to improve strength in the body's core. Some models feature accessories for use with the device, such as elastic bands or a rolling base. Although the various models of stability ball are similar in appearance, differences in size and construction affect how much weight each ball is capable of supporting.
The weight limit for most stability balls is 250 lbs., although models capable of supporting weights of up to 300 lbs. are not uncommon. These products are sufficient for basic aerobic and light weight-training workouts. Some manufacturers, such as TheraGear, offer burst-resistant models capable of supporting greater weights; these products feature two weight limits, one for static weight and another for body weight.
Types of Weight
"Static weight" refers to the total amount of weight the ball is capable of supporting, assuming no movement from the user. "Body weight" refers to how much weight the ball can support when the user is exercising, without exceeding the limits of the ball's burst resistance. A high-end stability ball, for example, may have a static weight limit of 2,200 lbs. and a body weight limit of 500 lbs.
While larger stability balls are often capable of supporting greater weight, it is important that the ball's dimensions remain a good fit for your frame. People shorter than 4 feet, 8 inches should use a ball measuring 45 cm in diameter, while those between 4-8" and 5-5" should use a ball measuring 55 cm. The 65 cm stability balls are suitable for people measuring between 5-6" and 6-0, and 75 cm models are suitable for people measuring between 6-1 and 6-5". If you are uncertain of which size to select, test the ball by sitting on it; if the top of the ball is lower than your knees when sitting, select a larger model.