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Exercise Ball Guide

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Selecting the right size exercise ball is crucial to ensure that you perform exercises correctly. Use the guidelines below when selecting the appropriate size ball: 

When sitting upright on an exercise ball:

  • Feet should be flat on the floor - with an even weight distribution. 
  • The knees should be level or slightly lower than the pelvis - creating an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater at the hips and knees (thighs parallel to ground or pointing down slightly). 
  • Pelvis, shoulders, and ears should be in a vertical line - the body should not be leaning in any direction as a counterbalance. Bouncing up and down lightly will usually produce this alignment. 
    Exer Ball 

Exercise balls generally come in five differe sizes with each size ball designed for people of different body heights. However, the sizes only tend to be relevent when sitting on the ball. Exercise balls can also be inflated to different levels so therefore this must also be taken in consideration

A general guideline for height correspondence to diameter of exercise ball is as follows (this is assuming average body weight is proportional to height):

Ball Diameter  Body Height
 45cm  5' and under
 55cm  5'1'' to 5'8''
 65cm  5'9'' to 6'2''
 75cm  6'3'' to 6'7''

Another factor to keep in mind is that most exercise ball sizes have some adjustability to them. If the angles at the hips and knees are much greater than 90 degrees, some air can be released to compensate and vice versa.

Bear in mind, releasing air from the exercise ball will cause it to lose air pressure. As the ball flattens out, this will actually make it more stable, as it has a larger contact area with the resisting surface and the body. This means that stabilizing and balancing exercises will become easier and will lose some effectivenessIt is quite often forgotten that exercise balls lose pressure because of stretching from using them regularly. Therefore, it is important to replace the ball occasionally.

The above tips tend to apply whilst sat on the ball. However, some exercises may require different size balls depending on the exercise undertaken. For example, the reverse curl exercise requires a small ball so that your legs are able to come up over the top of the ball.