Swiss Ball, Fit Ball, Balance ball, Gym ball ,Yoga Ball, Body ball, Therapy ball.
These balls are everywhere! In the gym, in the office, in the therapy clinics in class rooms ,and in many households around the world.
Yet there are many different names for the the same item, making it very confusing to the average buyer as to which one they should purchase.
But aside from the name of the item, wha t is more important is: what to look for on the packaging and what brands are the best quality.
"Not all Exercise balls are made with the same quality material.despite what the label says"
The "Swiss ball was developed by the the Italian plastic manufacturer Aquillino cosani. He perfected the process of moulding large puncture resistant balls. They were first used for new born and infant treatment in hospitals . Later they were introduced to to a Physical Therapy school in Switzerland and used for neural treatment and teaching functional Kinetics and then branched into orthopaedic treatment.
After witnessing the benefits of the Swiss Ball, American Physiotherapists began using the ball in their clinics.
A primary benefit of exercising with an exercise ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging the core muscles which become stronger over time. The bodies “righting response is engaged to keep balanced while on the ball (or any unstable situation). The stabilizer muscles and core activation should be the focus of exercise in any ball fitness program.
Another major benefit of using an unstable surface is the ability to recruit more muscle units without the need to increase the total load.
QUALITY ABOVE QUANTITY
Whether you’re using an exercise ball for rehab, balance or core strength training you want to make sure you purchase a high quality ball. After all, choosing a reliable exercise ball that is durable, safe, and a right fit is critical to establishing proactive exercise routine. As a fitness professional, I have experience using stability balls from different stores and manufactures. One key quality I look for in an exercise ball is durability, in another word, burst-resistance. Another important factor is checking the label for chemicals such as Phthalate which is a combination of polychloride and ethanol are not recommended as they off gas
Balls with an anti-burst rating of 500kg or greater are the best, especially if you plan on using additional weight.
If the rating is not stated, it most likely falls between 100 ~ 200kg, which is very low.
Your stability ball must be able to withstand your body-weight plus any additional weight.
Another reason we look for anti-burst technology is for your safety.
If your exercise ball becomes punctured for any reason, anti-burst technology resists compression under load, particularly during exercise and allows it to slowly deflate. Choosing the right size exercise ball for your height:
The balls are sized in centimeters, and at 10cm increments.
5’0” and under – 45cm
5’1” – 5’7” – 55cm
5’8” – 6'1" - 65cm
6’2” and over – 75cm
While these are first measures of sizing up your exercise ball, another way to ensure the right fit is to test it out in person.
When sitting on the ball, your feet should be able to touch and plant flat on the floor. Your knees should form a 90 degree angle (your thighs parallel to the floor).
Do You have balls? Here are the two ball retailers/manufacturers that I recommend: Both are made in Italy. And both are latex free: