Why you Need to Find the Best Exercise Ball to Truly Get in Shape!
Believe it or not, exercise balls have been around for thousands of years!
Interestingly, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine supposedly stuffed sewn up animal skins with sand and used them as “medicine balls” to help people recover from problems such as back injuries.
In today’s world of modern fitness, exercise balls are everywhere. From your local gym to many of your friends’ houses you probably see exercise balls often.
If you are not a personal trainer you may not realize the potential each exercise ball has for exercise. Perform some of the best ball exercises and you will easily become a believer that the best exercise ball can be an integral part of your fitness program.
All exercises much be consistent with your goals. The different exercise balls available can help you achieve a variety of goals. Different exercise balls can be used together or separately, with or without other equipment such as barbells and dumbbells. There are many different kinds of exercise balls. They come in different colors, sizes and weights.
The three most popular and effective exercise balls are the stability ball, medicine ball, and BOSU ball.
Stability Balls: The Best Exercise Ball?
Stability balls are also known as Swiss balls, exercise balls and physio balls. When some people ask about exercise balls, they may be referring to the stability ball.
Stability balls are rubbery inflatable balls of various sizes and colors. They can be used to a variety of exercises for your whole body. The only muscle group which you cannot exercise solely with a stability ball is your upper body pulling muscle group (back and biceps.)
Stability balls are best used for stabilization, strength, and balance training exercises. Stability balls are also a good alternative to an office chair. When you use a stability ball as an office chair, you can decrease the chances of lower back pain and improve your posture.
You can also use stability balls in place of weight benches. If you are performing any chest or shoulder pressing exercises, you can use the supine bridge position on the stability ball. This makes a stable position where you can perform presses while keeping your core and legs exercising.
Since stability balls come in different sizes and strengths it is important to know how to choose the right size stability ball for you.
How to Choose a Stability Ball that Fits You
First of all, every stability ball is not created equally. The old saying “You get what you pay for,” is a good philosophy to use when buying a stability ball. Stability balls that pump up very firmly are the best exercise ball compared to balls that pump up flimsily. The flimsy exercise balls can be better for a few exercises where the firm balls cannot.
Even though different exercises may be better with a different sized stability ball, you have a size which is best for you. Stability balls usually come in sizes of 45, 50, 55, 60 up to 80 centimeters. If the packaging says a certain size is for a certain height, do not go by that. If you have short or long legs, this way of measuring will not work correctly.
You can find which size of stability ball is right for you by sitting on a properly inflated stability ball. If your legs in front of you form a 90 degree angle with your heels directly below your knees the ball is just about the right size.
Best Stability Ball
The stability ball I have used for over 3 years. I have used it for a good part of over 4000 training sessions and have only had to replace it once over a period of around 3 years.
The Duraball pro costs more than most stability balls but they are well worth it not only because of durability but also usability. When inflated properly the Duraball pro is hard, and will NEVER EVER will become lopsided.
Purchase a Duraball Pro
Medicine balls weight from 2-30+ pounds. They are usually made up of dense rubber, or leather stuffed with sand or some other heavy material. Some have laces and some do not. The bigger they get, the heavier they get.
Medicine balls stake their claim as one of the best exercise balls because they are tremendous for power development. Explosive training is the medicine balls best use, although it is very versatile.
The medicine ball can also be used simply as a weight. Instead of holding a couple dumbbells, you can hold a medicine ball for certain movements. In some cases, holding a medicine ball is more ergonomic than holding another form of resistance. They are also good for uses similar to stability balls.
Some medicine balls bounce and others do not. You should know which kind you want before you buy a set. Bouncing medicine balls are better for exercises where you need to roll or bounce the ball. Medicine balls that do not bounce are better for catching because they are easier to grip.
Best Medicine Balls
Nike Medicine Balls
The best medicine ball is not as clear cut as the best stability ball. Medicine balls can be best judged by their durability. Nike’s medicine balls are made of hard rubber and bounce. Bouncing medicine balls are best for functional weight training when you want to bounce the ball.
Nike medicine balls look like new after years of intense work. You will be satisfied with Nike medicine balls but this is not to say you will be dissatisfied with other brands.
If you are looking for medicine balls with no bounce, Everlast medicine balls are the best. A sand filled core with a laced leather cover make Everlast medicine balls great for any exercises in which you do not want any bounce.
Everlast medicine balls are softer than the hard rubber balls so they can be easier on the wrists to catch as well as hurt less to get hit with if you are in sports such as mixed martial arts or boxing.
There are different styles of medicine balls which you can find below but the best exercise ball is the classic variety.
The dome shaped BOSU which is an acronym for Both Sides UP is really the BOSU balance trainer.
It was invented in 1999 by a guy named David Weck and has been heavily used in gyms across the world since then.
The BOSU can be used for a lot of the same exercises as stability balls. It is far more versatile than stability balls because it can be used for low level, beginner exercises as well as advance stabilization, strength and explosive power exercises.
The flat surface on the BOSU can be used for most of the same uses of the round side. In different exercises the difficulty will be increased or decreased by using the opposite side.
Many trainers believe that the best exercise ball is not even really a ball, but the BOSU balance trainer.
BOSU Balance Trainer Models
BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
The BOSU Pro Balance Trainer is the highest-end Balance Trainer product. It is designed for unlimited use in a commercial facility. It has a thicker bladder (dome) and a rubberized, non-marking overmold on the platform (bottom) for optimal grip on floors and more durability. It has a one-year commercial warranty.
BOSU Home Balance Trainer
The BOSU Home Balance Trainer is intended for home use. The product is designed to perform for many years used within a home, but is not warranted for commercial use. The platform (bottom) has non-marking rubber feet to prevent slippage on floors. This model has a 30-days manufacturers warranty.
BOSU Sport Balance Trainer – 55 cm
The BOSU Sport Balance Trainer is an entry-level Balance Trainer product. It costs less and is smaller than the Pro and Home versions, but one can still get an effective workout using this tool. This product is meant to make the BOSU Balance Trainer most accessible for people on a budget.
BOSU Sport Balance Trainer – 45 cm
The BOSU Sport Balance Trainer is ideal for sport-specific application and using multiple units at once. The smaller size enables you to position multiple units with close proximity to train specific athletic stances. These are also highly portable.
Buy the BOSU Balance Trainer
BOSU Ballast Ball
BOSU has come out with the new Ballast Ball which is a stability ball with a weighted liquid on the inside
The ballast ball has been touted as better for seniors. The advantage is the ball won’t roll away during exercises and weights enough to use it for some strength training exercises such as the BOSU balance trainer.
More information about the BOSU ballast ball will be posted once it can be tested.
Buy the BOSU Ballast Ball
Where can I Buy the Best Exercise Balls?
You can fight the crowds, lines, and poor customer service at your local sporting goods store. If you want a more civilized way to get your exercise balls you can find the best exercise balls online at quality, trusted vendors.
The fitness products will be shipped to your door with no wasted time at the store. If only they would pump them up for you, which is a workout in itself.
Are there More Types of the Best Exercise Balls?
There are other forms of exercise balls out there, but the aforementioned balls are superior tools and you should consider using them before different types of balls.
Other Types of Exercise Balls Include
- Handle Medicine Balls
Medicine balls with handles allow you to perform certain exercises without the added stress on the hands and fingers. The grip makes it easy to carry around the medicine balls during exercises.
- NRG Ball Systems
Medicine balls with handles sticking out to the side. These medicine balls can be used to perform core exercises, abdominal exercises as well as push-ups.
- Rope Power Balls
Medicine balls with ropes attached. Can be used for rotational core strength. Rope power balls are great for anyone who wants to develop explosive power in the transverse plane such as tennis and baseball players.
- Yoga Balls
Small sand filled bags to assist with posture. Usually 2 or 3 pounds. Yoga balls can also be used as a generic term for every best exercise ball.
More Exercise Ball Information Articles Written by Expert Personal Fitness Trainers
- Stability Ball Exercises
You know know that the best exercise ball may be the stability or Swiss ball. Put your new stability ball to use and perform some of these challenging exercises.
- Remember to start off with the beginning exercises and master them before you try to progress and make them more difficult.
- BOSU Ball Exercises
Many trainers think hands down, the BOSU is the best exercise ball or half of a ball. Find exercises which you can perform in your home or at the gym. There are many resistance, power, balance and cardio exercises are unique to the BOSU.
- Once you get comfortable with using the BOSU balance trainer, you can even begin to create your own exercises. When you use the BOSU for a while, it will most likely leave the impression on you of being the best exercise ball.
- Medicine Ball Exercises
Learn how one of the best exercise balls can be used for a whole workout which you can do in the comfort of your own home. You can also use medicine ball exercises in the gym to supplement your other workouts.