If you’ve been in a fitness community for a long time, you know how easy it is for people to pick up on fad diets and trendy equipment. Some of those equipment tends to last and evolve into an essential part of your routine.
Exercise balls are not just a random trend like other gym equipment tends to be. It’s here to stay, and for good reason!
It’s actually been here for a long time, and although they used to have another function before entering the fitness realm, it now has become essential in gyms everywhere.
I like keeping up to date with my own home gym equipment, so exercise balls do interest me. With the wide range of options available, which ones are the best?
Here are some of my top picks for the best exercise balls out there as rated by purpose, durability and more! Good luck.
Best Exercise Balls For Fitness & Home-Use Compared and Reviewed
|Top||Live Infinitely Exercise Ball||Live Infinitely||Check Price on Amazon|
|Active Balance Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands & Hand Pump||Active Balance||Check Price on Amazon|
|Trideer Exercise Ball||Trideer||Check Price on Amazon|
|Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair||Gaiam Classic||Check Price on Amazon|
|TheraBand Exercise Ball||TheraBand||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
The Live Infinitely exercise ball is a great example of that! It is made of great, non-toxic materials that are generally important if you’ll be interacting with a certain object a lot.
For example, this exercise ball is made of professional-grade PVC material. PVC is known to be a durable material that is seen in drinking pipes, wires, etc. It is also BPA-free, latex-free, heavy metal, and phthalate-free, losing all those toxic materials.
You’ll find that its durability is also proved by its ability to withstand up to 2 cm cut; they call this their “anti-burst” feature.
Their exercise balls can support up to 2200 pounds, which I think is a great capacity and shows that they care for inclusivity in fitness.
These are also designed to help you with your back relief and posture. In fact, the manufacturer would recommend this for desk chair replacements.
Other added features would be their free workout ebook that includes total body workouts with your exercise balls. They also provide a guide for what size or height exercise ball you need depending on your height or on your desk’s height!
#2 - Active Balance Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands & Hand Pump
This exercise ball has a thick, anti-slip surface that helps you be stable even as you continue to get more and more intense with your exercise routine (or maybe just your desk job). Its embossed texture helps it stay in place.
It is made of thick PVC, which is known to be durable and used in different applications such as pipes and wires.
Active Balance promotes this for stability, improved movement, as a desk chair, and back pains. I would say this exercise ball differs from the rest only with its added features.
It comes with a complete kit, which I actually found quite useful. It includes pins, a handheld air pump, and an eBook full of workouts and tips for a stronger body and core.
With the set, it includes 3 resistance bands, which I think are a great addition!
Users are not a fan of how hard it is to get to full inflation. This means that although it is easy to inflate it, it isn’t as firm as some users wish it were.
#3 - Trideer Exercise Ball
It claims to have one of the highest densities in the market, with 2mm thickness and 2200 pounds of capacity. This makes it quite heavy and thick, and therefore more stable!
It also is made of non-toxic material, specifically PVC which is known for its durability and its use in pipes and wires. There are also no heavy metals or BPA, which are especially important if you’re going to be having heavy contact with any product.
This exercise ball can be used in a variety of ways, including pilates, yoga, back training, or an office chair.
It’s easy to inflate with the included foot pump. I like that it’s a foot pump instead of the usual hand pump, and users are raving about it as well.
They also have an exercise ball guide that helps you decide which workouts to do to work certain muscles.
Users are kind of complaining about how hard it is to totally inflate the ball and get it really firm. There is also a weird chemical smell that comes from the ball.
#4 - Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair
Taller people might not be interested in this exercise ball as it is designed for users 5 feet to 5 feet and 11 inches tall, with 300 pounds of weight capacity.
If you’re even shorter, or maybe your desk is a bit taller, their leg extenders add 2 inches of height to your chair.
The exercise ball itself is 52 centimeters, which you can remove from the chair if you prefer to use it for your exercise routine.
The chair actually has wheels, just like a normal office chair, except that the backrest is not as supportive as I would like it to be. It’s quite low.
On the other hand, though, the point of an exercise ball is that you will be in constant motion, keeping yourself stable and focused. The backrest is probably not the most important part of it.
Users are not quite impressed with the chair itself, though. Aside from the complaints about the unusable backrest, some parts are missing or easily damaged, especially the metal bar that keeps the exercise ball locked into the chair.
#5 - TheraBand Exercise Ball
The TheraBand exercise ball is designed to strengthen your muscles and especially your core as you train your stability. It is a great replacement for your typical desk chair, as sitting all day in front of your computer does have certain dangers to it.
A purchase includes an exercise guide poster, which has 24 exercises you can do with your ball.
What I don’t like about this product is that it does not include a pump, which is essential to inflate your exercise ball.
They have 5 different sizes available, which corresponds to a certain height. For example, the smallest ball sized 45 centimeters is said to be appropriate for heights 55 inches to 60 inches.
If you’re using this for a desk chair, I would recommend sizing up (depending on how high your desk is). The ball sizes are measured at maximum inflation, which is quite hard to achieve. If you want a less firm exercise ball for one reason or another, sizing up is even more important.
Most of the complaints that users have are about how there is no pump, and how hard it is to get it to maximum inflation.
My Number One Pick
What To Look Out For When Considering An Exercise Trampoline
Buying exercise equipment in general is something you should be researching a lot about, especially since it’ll be affecting both your health and your wallet.
It is especially important to know all about your new exercise ball and its material; the scary stories about balls exploding while people are sitting on it really proves its importance.
For your safety and for a more knowledgeable purchase, let’s talk all about exercise balls!
Benefits of Exercise Balls
Exercise balls started as a trend but are now a great part of any exercise routine. Nowadays, you can find them in any gym anywhere and are essential to exercising your core and posture.
They were adopted by physical therapists to encourage proper posture and back rehabilitation. Because of these benefits, these balls eventually became popular in the fitness community.
How, exactly, can exercise balls benefit you?
Exercise balls can be used to promote better posture! You can do so by using balls instead of the typical desk chairs.
This is only one benefit of using it in this way. This will force you to keep yourself steady and stable by exhibiting proper posture.
Relieve back pain
Back pain can be one of the reasons why you are looking to purchase an exercise ball.
It’s easily one of the top uses of an exercise ball, especially since the angle of your back can fit perfectly on a ball.
Simply stretching your back on top of the ball and curving yourself over it can help you relieve back pain.
Exercise your core
Exercising your core can actually be the main reason why every other benefit of exercise balls exists.
A strong core can promote great posture. Your core can also support your back, relieving and strengthening your back.
Aside from all that, strengthening your core can help you be more easily stable.
Strengthening other muscles
With the right exercise routine, you can use your exercise ball to strengthen other muscles. In fact, there are a lot of exercises that are low-impact but can train your muscles with guided bodyweight exercises.
Here are some exercises that might help you get stronger:
Desk chair replacement (with reservations!)
We’ve all heard that new fitness myth: “sitting is the new smoking.” Although this has been debunked as misleading, it is quite true that sitting all day in front of the computer can increase your risk of chronic health problems.
That’s why some people like using exercise balls as their new desk chairs. Not only does this activate your core, but it also promotes being more attentive to your posture.
This comes with precautions, though. Firstly, this isn’t the most comfortable way to sit and work! Experts recommend just staying on your current ergonomic office chair.
However, if you really want to burn some extra calories, you can intermittently use your exercise ball. Every hour or so, you might want to change your chair for 10 minutes at a time (or as long as it doesn’t feel abnormally uncomfortable).
Finding the right size ball
The sizes of your ball really depend on each brand. Some offer more options than others.
A general guide on choosing the right size for your exercise ball is seen below:
|Ball size (height)||Recommended height of the user|
|45 cm||140 to 150 cm|
|55 cm||155 to 165 cm|
|65 cm||170 to 180 cm|
|75 cm||183 to 190 cm|
|85 cm||over 190 cm|
On to the next key consideration…
Other things to consider
We know the uses of your exercise ball and how they can improve your lifestyle, but what other aspects of the exercise ball should you look out for? Here are some:
Check the make of your exercise ball – Because you’ll be using this exercise ball most probably with exposed skin, it’s important to know that the material of it is nontoxic.
In particular, most high-quality exercise balls are BPA-free and free of heavy metals. PVC is also mostly used, which is a great material with many applications. For example, it can be used in drinking and wastewater piping systems, wires, and medical devices, among others.
Is it durable enough? – Part of the properties of good material is its durability. PVC, in particular, is a durable material.
You want durability not only because you want your equipment to last, but also because you don’t want it to pop at the most unexpected time!
What extra features can you get? – Some brands have added features to their exercise balls so you don’t just get one thing in the mail. Inclusions such as resistance bands and exercise guides can elevate your experience with this equipment.
Others can even include chairs for your exercise ball but beware of gimmicky equipment as it tends to be less durable.
Frequently Asked Questions On Exercise Balls For Fitness
Q: What are the best uses of exercise balls?
A: The top uses of exercise balls include weight training, core training, flexibility, yoga, and desk chair replacements (with intermittent use!). There are a lot more practical uses such as posture and back rehabilitation, along with back pain relief.
Q: How do you fill up an exercise ball?
A: Most exercise balls will include pumps with them (hand pumps and foot pumps). Although it is quite difficult to get to full inflation, following instructions that brands send to you might help you out. Manufacturers often instruct you to inflate your ball half the way first, then try to get it to full inflation the next day.
Q: For beginners, what size exercise balls should you generally get?
A: Smaller exercise balls increase the difficulty of whatever exercise you prefer. For beginners, larger-sized exercise balls might be better for you. Follow the guide above, and maybe go a size up for ease.
Q: How can I test out in-store if I have the right exercise ball?
A: Testing out exercise balls are quite simple. All you have to do is sit on it and check your legs. A proper height will let your legs bend 90 degrees or more. Your hips are either aligned with your knees or are slightly higher than them.
Buying exercise balls is not that complicated! After reading this guide, I hope this has helped you decide the best kind of exercise ball for you and if it truly will work for you.
Before making your purchase, try to read some more reviews. Most of the time, they’ll be telling you their experiences with the manufacturer. It’s best if the manufacturer is responsive because it shows that if a problem comes up with your purchase, they are able to help you.
While you’re here, check out more ways you can exercise at home with these trampolines. If you’re sitting on your ball for exercise whilst working then maybe try one of these under the desk treadmills and vary your workouts a bit, even if they’re at home!
We even did a post on vibration machines and how you can make benefit of them at home. We hope you subscribe to our email and stick around as we’re always posting up new guides on fitness and in health! Stay hard!
Go get that ball! And if you have any comments or suggestions, please share them below!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.