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How to Choose the Right Exercise Ball for You

How to Choose the Right Exercise Ball for You

Exercise balls cost around $20 and are widely available in health
and fitness shops. Be warned: all balls are not created equal.
Some are cheap to the touch and to the smell. The appropriate size
of the ball is a subject of debate among teachers and depends on
what exercise method you will be using.

Balls are blown up according to diameter, not air pressure. A yardstick will help you inflate to maximum diameter (height off the floor), which is printed on the ball and on the box. Only inflate t the recommended diameter and not bigger. Use an air raft or mattress pump or go to a gas station and use a cone-shaped trigger nozzle. Most people find that a bicycle pump is simply not forceful enough.

Here is a rule of thumb for choosing a ball that is the right size for you:

With Pilates-based work the 55-cm ball is perfect unless you are very tall (and strong). The larger the ball, the heavier and more unwieldy it is.

A general rule is that when sitting on the ball the hips and knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. This usually translates to 55 cm for people 5′ to 5′ 8″ and 65 cm for 5’8″ to 6’2″.

The author of this article prefers the Fitball brand. She loves the pearl- or black-colored balls because they have an excellent surface that is not dangerously slippery.

Read more: Health, Natural Remedies

Adapted from Pilates on the Ball, by Colleen Craig. Copyright (c) 2001 by Colleen Craig. Reprinted by permission of Healing Arts Press.
Adapted from Pilates on the Ball, by Colleen Craig (Healing Arts Press, 2001).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

Pilates on the Ball

Certified Pilates trainer Colleen Craig offers us a unique and exciting synthesis of the Pilates Method of body conditioning and the Swiss exercise ball, providing a new, low-impact way to get now


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12:33PM PST on Mar 3, 2013

informative if you're involved with pilates.

2:49AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

The right choice can certainly help a lot

12:48PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012


12:57AM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

good advice...

5:54AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Thanks for the info.

12:35AM PST on Dec 24, 2010

Thanks for the article.

9:40PM PST on Jan 12, 2010

Thanks for the post :-)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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