An exercise ball is a simple large inflatable ball that is used for exercise. It seems that the ball made it into the office trends nowadays. Some people even start to swap their traditional office chair with an exercise ball. They said they got calories burned just sitting on the ball. Some even claim it is a good core exercise. Is it really? Let’s find out the truth about it!
Exercise balls are used to strengthen core and balance, especially the core muscles of pelvis, abdomen and your back. Using an exercise ball in the right way is great for stability and maintain or fix your posture. You can use an exercise ball for a variety of aerobic, Pilates or yoga.
Why Do You Need To Buy An Exercise Ball?
First of all, exercise ball workouts are easy to do. You can do it anywhere you want, at home, at the office, at the gym, anywhere you named it, as long there is space for it to move around.
Second, the workouts require inexpensive equipment, you only need one tool, the exercise ball. Third, the best thing about an exercise ball is that they are on for all piece of equipment. It can be used for almost all types of exercise. If you get one for a Pilates or yoga class but want to change for weight training, you can use the same ball. Or if you want to use it as a desk chair at the office, that way you can sneak some exercise while working.
But, to make it count, you will need to choose an exercise ball that is suitable for you.
Here are a few things you need to know about exercise ball.
Exercise Ball Benefits
Based on top.me.com, exercise ball has several benefits for:
- Strength building
- Functional fitness
- Relaxation and workout recover
- Body support
- Physical therapy
- Injury recovery
Types of Exercise Ball
An exercise ball can be categorized based on their size:
- Mini (9 to 12 inches or 22 to 30 cm). It is not suitable for whole body balance challenge. It is for stability work.
- Small (18 inches or 45 cm). Suitable for people with height up to 145 cm.
- Medium (22 inches or 55 cm). Suitable for people with height from 140 to 165 cm.
- Large (26 inches or 65 cm). Suitable for people with height from 165 to 185 cm. Usually used for pilates and yoga.
- Extra Large (30 inches or 75cm). Suitable for people with height from 185 to 195cm
- Extra Extra Large (33 inches or 85cm). Suitable for people with height over 195cm.
How To Choose Exercise Ball
When it comes to choosing an exercise ball, there are several factors you have to consider:
- Height – Choose the right exercise ball based on your height.
- BMI – If your BMI is over 25, consider to size up to get a correct resistance.
- Comfort – Try the ball if it’s possible, it is okay to size up or size down the ball if you feel comfortable.
- Exercise – You need to choose an exercise ball that goes along with the exercise you are going to do.
How To Use An Exercise Ball
Based on spine-health.com, when you sit on an exercise ball you have to make sure that:
- Your feet should be flat on the floor, with an even weight distribution
- Knees should be level or slightly lower than the pelvis. Creating a 90 degrees angle at the hips and knees
- Pelvis, shoulders, and ears should be in a vertical line. Don’t lean in any direction.
Releasing air will cause it to lose air pressure, and make it more stable and easier to balance.
Here is some exercise you could try with an exercise ball:
- Sit up
- Bird dog
- Ab Balances
For Leg Exercises
- Leg extension
- Half squat
- Wall squat
- Inner thigh squeeze
- Hamstring Curls
How To Store An Exercise Ball
Because it is made from inflatable plastic, it should be properly stored when not in use.
You should store it in normal and dry environments. Don’t store it hot environments because the air inside could expand and the ball could burst.
Learn how to use exercise ball correctly, because if not it can lead to falling when you get off balance.
If you have an injury like spine injury, consult first with your doctor to know what kind of exercise you should be doing.
Make sure your ball is not overfilled or underfilled with air.
Before exercise, remove any sharp or heavy object to minimize the potential for accidents.
Don’t use workout mats, because they can shift during exercise, and it could be fatal and dangerous.
Use training shoes that fit well, to prevent slipping.
Check the air pressure from the ball before exercise. Exercise ball lose pressure from regular usage, it may require further inflation.
For people who are overweight, older or out of shape, it is recommended to choose a larger and less inflated ball, because it will be easier to balance.
If your condition is fit, you should use a fully inflated fitness ball to maximize the result, because it requires a fully engage muscles to stay upright.
If you want to use the exercise ball as a desk chair, remember not to do it all day. Studies have shown if you overdo it, it can actually increase the risk of low back discomfort. But it’s okay to use it for small periods of time
Choosing the right exercise ball that is suitable for you is essential to prevent the risk of falling. Our best recommended exercise ball would be the Lazy Monk exercise ball.
You also have to learn how to use the ball correctly.
Consult with your doctor, personal trainer or specialist for more guidance.