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Sizing Yoga Balls: The Right One For You!

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

by Emma Mattison – NASM, CPT, CNC and Functional Aging Specialist


*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.



Yoga balls, Swiss balls, exercise balls, fitness balls, physio balls, stability balls, – they have many names! Universally, they are appreciated and used by physical therapists, fitness professionals, and avid exercisers alike. Yoga balls are a wonderful way to perform exercises ranging from deep-core activation to gentle stretches and balance training, to high-intensity interval workouts. I personally include exercises in my personal training programs that touch on all of those exercise types, and that incorporate movements that help correct your form. Click here for some sample yoga ball exercises!


The applications are nearly limitless. However, there are a few important traits of exercise balls that you need to consider before making your purchase. As a Certified Personal Trainer, I'm happy to walk you through the specifics, as well as my top recommendations for exercise balls and kits!






Important Tip #1 – Sizing Your Yoga Balls

Size matters when it comes to balls. Yes, I'm referring to exercise balls... but let me make sure not to confuse you! These balls have many names: yoga balls = Swiss balls = exercise balls = fitness balls = physio balls = stability balls.


In general, there are 3 main ways people use exercise balls (and two are not for exercise!)


  1. For EXERCISE

  2. As a CHAIR

  3. For BIRTHING


While I am not an expert when it comes to Doula's work, I can say that for using these balls for comfort when birthing, the small sizes are typically avoided, opting for a size up than the chart included in this article.


For exercise and as a chair, the sizing chart below can be referred. However, I personally advise against using these balls as chairs. Contrary to popular belief, these do not actually help your posture if you sit on them instead of an office chair. In fact, using them, for this reason, may actually make your posture worse!


However, using them for various exercises and workout routines, as well as for corrective strength training can be particularly helpful for your posture! In other words... you still have to put in work to improve your posture! But at least it can be made fun by using these!


Cut to the Chase: The Sizing Chart

​YOUR HEIGHT:

​BALL SIZE:

​Under 4’8”

​45 cm/18”

​4’8 to 5’3”

​55 cm/22”

​5’4” to 5’10”

​65 cm/26”

​5’11” to 6’4”

​75 cm/30”

​6’4” and up

​85 cm/34”

Also, please note the sizing in cm. Centimeters will be used readily in the measurements in online listings, so don't confuse the metric system with our imperial system when ordering the right size ball.


Important Tip #2 – Weight Rating & Care (Anti-Burst)


Check the capacity of the ball. The worst thing would be to purchase a ball that hasn't been tested against your weight, and have it burst on you. It DOES happen out there, but it's typically from people being hooligans with their new equipment, or from not taking care of or storing the ball properly (example, leaving it in a very cold or very hot room or car.) But be cautious about the weight rating. Ensure it has been tested up to a certain weight and that the verbiage is clear.

For example, this ball from BalanceFrom to the left is what I personally bought because it was cheap, and weight rating was not a concern to me, being under 150 lbs. The ball itself has a rating up to 2000 lbs. However, it is unclear as to whether or not it was tested as "pounds of air" inside the ball, or "pounds on top of the ball." On top of it, 2000 lbs sounds like a pompous claim, if you really think about it. Moreover, there are a couple review reviews that indicate that it burst on the user, under the impression that it was in fact rated up to 2000 lbs. However, every yoga ball out there on Amazon will have a 1 star review mentioning that the ball "burst" on them. I tend to expect poor care of the ball. These are NOT supposed to be bouncy balls for children, by the way.


There are others out there, such as this ball from Trideer to the right, that do have the weight tested up to 330 lbs. You can typically read this sort of information within the listing of the product. If you cannot find that info, avoid buying that brand, as it could be dangerous.


In general, DO NOT:

  • Store in a room or car that is too hot or too cold.

  • Intentionally, forcefully bounce repeatedly on the ball.

  • Store the ball in a smashed position or cramped area (compressing the ball)

  • Store or use the ball on a filthy floor with sharp objects on the ground such as gravel.

  • Assume the ball is invincible.


Important Tip #3 – Don't Lift Heavy Weights On a Ball, or Try Stunts.


This ties right into proper care and usage of the ball. While light dumbbells can most certainly be incorporated into exercise ball workouts, it is encouraged to entirely avoid any heavy weight lifting on or using an exercise ball.


Please, use common sense, and also avoid stunts such as this:


My Top Recommendations


In summary, know the size of your ball, check the weight rating, and store your ball properly! If you're curious as to what I recommend as far as exercise balls, other than the two products listed here, visit this article: The Best Exercise Balls: Trusted Brands & Ball Accessories

 

Ready to Start Training?


If you are 45+, ready for a change in your life – whether you are ready to be a champion of the senior Olympics... or you are simply looking to improve your health through diet and exercise, lose weight, get your balance and mobility back, feel stronger once again, or move freely, easily, and pain-free – I offer online personal training & nutrition coaching, and other programs (Online Tai Chi is coming soon!)

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.


The first step in getting started is to book a free 15 min phone call with me to chat about your goals, and share your health and training history!



You can also email me at info@myzeniverse.com


 


About the Author

Image of Emma Mattison, a highly qualified online personal trainer, functional aging specialist, certified trainer and nutrition coach through NASM and FAI, and a skilled Tai Chi and Dance instructor.

Hi! I'm Emma Mattison. I'm a NASM-certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, stretch & flexibility coach, pranayama breathwork guide, holistic nerd, and lover of birds & music! I specialize in functional fitness for older adults, and those with conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Scientific literature is fun to me, and my goal is to make it understandable and fun for you!


I am driven to share knowledge I find fascinating & transformative with my clients and the world. Everyone has the power to take their health into their own hands!


My love for fitness and true discovery of health started with helping my best friend – who I can now call my husband! Today, I couldn't do any of this as smoothly and enjoyably as I do now without him! Check out our YouTube, MyZeniverse! He literally edits and films everything. He's editing the next YouTube video next to me right now, as we speak! Check it out, and give it a like if it's helpful! 😊😊

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