What is a Swiss Ball?

A Swiss Ball, which is also known as an, “Exercise Ball” or “Stability Ball”, is a large rubber ball that measures anywhere between 45 to 75 centimeters in diameter. It resembles a beach ball in its size and shape, but that’s where the similarities end. A Swiss Ball is made of heavy duty rubber. This sturdy rubber construction can safely hold the weight of a human being. Its rubber surface can either be smooth or textured.

Swiss Balls have become more popular in exercise routines today because they offer the benefits of two-fold muscle toning. That is, while you’re performing an exercise routine on the ball, you are actually using other muscles to keep your body balanced. This holds true no matter whether you’re sitting or lying on a Swiss Ball. In addition to the muscles you’re concentrating on, you are also strengthening your back and abdomen muscles in the process of maintaining your balance. Stability Balls are effectively used in physical therapy programs to help patients who suffer from back pain. In fact, they have been used for several decades in the field of rehabilitation.

When used in an exercise routine, this type of device will actually improve your balance, coordination, and reflexes. Another benefit of using a Swiss Ball in place of doing exercises lying on the floor is that the ball provides a softer, bouncier surface. Not only that, but a Stability Ball can add some fun to an otherwise dull exercise routine!

Before you begin an exercise routine with a Swiss Ball, you’ll need to choose the ball that fits your body size. The shorter your frame is, the smaller you’ll want your ball to be. If you’re 5’2 or under, you’ll want to choose a Swiss Ball that’s 45 centimeters around. People that measure 5’3 to 5’8 should add another 10 centimeters, while a tall person of 5’9 to 6’2 should add another 10 centimeters yet. If you stand 6’3 or more, you should choose a Stability Ball that measures 75 centimeters in diameter.

There are other features you should look for, as well, when you’re shopping for a Swiss Ball:

1. Material- Though there are many types of balls, and they all look the same, you should look for a device that’s made of a heavy duty rubber. Cheaper isn’t better in this case. Some Stability Balls can actually burst under your weight, and you don’t want that to happen! Shop around for a ball that’s made of Krylon. Krylon won’t rip wide open if it develops a hole in it.

2. Weight Limits- Choose a Swiss Ball that can safely hold two or three times your body weight if you plan on using it for light to moderate exercising. If you’re planning on performing a more aggressive work out, choose a ball that has a “Burst Rating” of at least 400 kilograms.

If you want to buy a Swiss Ball to enhance your exercise routines, you can usually find them at your local sports shop. You can also perform a search on the Internet and shop for one that way. They come in a prepackaged kit for your convenience. The kit includes a Swiss Ball, a air pump, and at least one exercise video that will show you how to inflate and use the ball correctly. For example, how soft or firm your ball will need to be will depend on the exercises you want to perform. Generally, though, you’ll want to inflate your Stability Ball so that you can press it with one finger and make an indentation in it.

3. Texture- As I previously mentioned, Swiss Balls are available in either a smooth or a textured rubber surface. A textured rubber ball is easier to exercise with because it’s easier to stay on. A sweaty body can slide off right a ball that has a smooth surface.

And finally, if you have any health problems, you should consult with your doctor before you start exercising with a Swiss Ball.

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