The Best Way to Deflate an Exercise Ball

If you need to store an exercise ball, it's easiest to deflate it first.
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Exercise balls, such as large Pilates balls, are a great piece of at-home exercise equipment for many people, but they're also sometimes hard to store when you're short on space and don't intend on using it every day.


Some exercise balls are smaller, depending on how they're meant to be used. And some people like to use the Pilates or exercise balls for a while, then move on to something else. Deflating an exercise ball to either make it fit your body better or store it away can be done by following the steps below.

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How to Deflate an Exercise Ball

  1. Place the ball on the floor and look for the valve stem cover, which should be a small (about 1/2-inch diameter) disc somewhere on the ball. The valve stem is a tube inserted into the inflation hole of the exercise ball that locks air in. This valve stem needs to be removed before the ball can be deflated.
  2. Remove the valve stem carefully. In some cases, you may be able to easily situate a finger or fingernail under the lip of the stem and wiggle it upward until you can grasp it easily with your fingertips, but not always.
    • If you can't get your fingernail under the edge, try using the dull edge of a butter knife (using caution not to dig into the ball itself) to gently lift an edge.
  3. Grasp the valve stem firmly with the tips of the fingers and pull out, using a twisting or back-and-forth motion if necessary.
  4. Pull the stem completely out of the ball.
  5. Apply pressure to the ball, either by squeezing or lying on it to encourage air to escape from the ball. If you wish, you may leave the ball alone with the valve stem out, and it will deflate about half its air. Then you can roll or fold it, forcefully expelling air that remains.


Alternatively, you can use the air pump that often comes with an exercise ball. A pump tip may be inserted into the air intake valve, which will release air automatically.

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