Make sure you start with the right exercise ball size for you. Physical therapists have provided the table you see below for the general population, but ultimately the right size is dependent on the type of exercises you intend to do.
For example, the perfect exercise ball size for exercise ball exercises that require you to sit on the ball is dependent on your height. When sitting on the exercise ball, knees and hips should be at 90 degrees. For exercise ball exercises that require you to kneel or stand on the ball, a larger ball is better.
For those of you just getting familiar with the exercise ball, choose a larger size and keep it slightly deflated until you learn how the exercises feel and you feel comfortable balancing on it.
In my clinic I use a variety of sizes depending on my patients' abilities, height, pathologies, and goals. Balls are so inexpensive now it is helpful to have more than one.
More information on buying a ball.
|BALL DIAMETER||YOUR HEIGHT|
|45 cm||up to 5' 0 (1.5m)|
|55 cm||5'0" to 5'6" (1.5-1.7m)|
|65 cm||5'7" to 6'0" (1.7-1.8m)|
|75 cm||6'0" and over|
Use comfort as your guide.
For exercises that require sitting:
For exercises that require standing:
The bigger the ball the heavier it is, so if your are using it for upper extremity workouts, keep that in mind. If you lack shoulder strength or scapular stability you may want to use a smaller ball for exercises such as the isometric shoulder exercise
hold-up 1 or
hold-up 2, or the dynamic exercises
You may find that one brand of 55 cm ball may be bigger than a 55 cm ball of another brand. Try different sizes of balls for different exercises and be prepared to return a ball you bought because it didn't meet your needs. There are no hard and fast rules. Using different size balls will allow you more flexibility and variation with your exercise ball training.
We recommend beginning your program with a softer ball if you've never used an exercise ball before. The softer ball will provide greater contact with the floor and therefore more stability while doing the exercises. The firmer the ball, the more difficult you will find it to stabilize yourself on the ball. The more inflated the ball is, the less contact area there is with the floor, the more easily the ball will roll, and the more skill is required to maintain balance on the exercise ball.
Be sure to read the exercise ball precautions before beginning your workout program.