Choosing A Stability Ball

Be sure to get the right size that fits you to get the maximum benefit
Stability Balls--also known as Exercise Balls, Swiss Balls, Balance Balls or Fitness Balls--were once exclusively the tools of therapists for the physical rehabilitation patients. These days, however, you can find them in almost every gym and fitness center.

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If you’ve never before used a Stability Ball, you may wonder why they’re so popular. When exercises are performed on the Ball, the body is unstable–the Ball feels as if it might roll or move. Because of this, smaller stabilizing muscles must be used to maintain your balance while performing Stability Ball exercises. This helps strengthen your core–including your stomach and back–and also makes the exercises more challenging.

Stability Balls are relatively inexpensive. You can purchase them for as little as $25 at any sporting goods store. They take up very little space, so they are perfect exercise equipment for small homes. If you’d like to buy a Stability Ball, consider these things:

Size: Stability Balls come in various sizes, and you’ll want to find one that properly fits your body. If possible, sit on the Ball like it’s a chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees should form a 90-degree angle.

Durability: Some Stability Balls are made from thicker and tougher materials than others. In general, heavier people need a more durable Ball. Check the package if you’re concerned about durability, since many Stability Balls will list the “maximum weight” the Ball can hold.

Once you own a Stability Ball, consider investing in a book or DVD that explains the various exercises you can perform on your new piece of equipment.