Exercise balls provide a new way for people to perform different types of exercise. Consequently, effective use of an exercise ball starts with the careful and proper selection of the ball. Often, it’s best to consult with a fitness expert before choosing a ball. However, when this is not possible, the following general guidelines should help people understand how to choose and use an exercise ball.
Choosing the Right Exercise Ball
The foremost consideration in choosing the right exercise ball is its height. It is important to make sure that the size of the ball goes according to one’s height. The following are the recommended ball size for different heights:
- 45cm - 5’ and under
- 55 cm - 5'4" to 5’8”
- 65 cm - 5’9” to 6’0”
- 75 cm - 6'1" - 6' 7"
- 85 cm- heights higher than and equal to 6’8”
Note that these height recommendations are general guidelines. There are other factors affecting the selection of the right exercise ball. It’s still best to consult with a fitness expert or representative. To see whether the height of the ball is appropriate to the person, the 90 degree rule should be followed: when sitting on the ball both feet should be planted flat on the floor, the knees should be a little lower than the pelvis making a 90-degree angle, and the ears, shoulders and pelvis should be in a vertical line.
For people worrying about their weight, there are different types of exercise balls to choose from. Each type corresponds to a specific type of body composition. If the person’s weight is more than the average, the height recommendation will be different. Since exercise balls tend to compress when there is more weight, it’s best for the person to get the next larger size. This is to make sure that the 90 degree rule is followed. Some exercise balls also come with adjustable settings. This may be a better option for those who have larger weights.
The Use of an Exercise Ball
The exercise ball can be used for a variety of purposes. Generally, it can be used for workout routines. Since it provides a more difficult platform, people can expect a different workout experience from exercise balls.
To exercise the abs more, the exercise ball can add a level of challenge to conventional movements such as crunches and twist. Since balance also needs to be maintained, more muscles get to work and exercise.
Sitting on the ball can help improve a person’s posture. Since a 90-degree angle should be maintained to gain balance, it will help a person work on proper sitting posture and position.
Yoga, Pilates and Flexibility Exercises
The exercise ball is a good tool for both relaxation and flexibility exercises.