The 10 Best Exercise Balls

Updated November 16, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Exercise Balls
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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you're bored with your current routine or seeking something to help build additional stability, exercise balls can help improve coordination, balance, and core isolation. Using one as a workout bench will make every move you make more effective, and swapping one out with your desk chair will improve your physical health over time with minimal effort. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best exercise ball on Amazon.

10. Stott Pilates Stability Plus

Designed with a slip-free ribbed polyvinyl surface, the Stott Pilates Stability Plus challenges your deep core muscles for improved overall body strength and balance. It has been safety tested for up to 550 lbs. and is available in three colors and sizes.
  • completely latex free
  • slow to inflate
  • smaller than many customers expected
Model ST06033
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. FitPro BRT

The FitPro BRT has a soft, foam-like padded surface and is made from a patented material that deflates slowly if it's torn or punctured to minimize any chance of injury during your workout. It's available in five sizes so you're sure to find one that suits your needs.
  • stays inflated for weeks
  • some customers did not receive plugs
  • does not include pump
Brand Champion Sports
Model BRT42-parent
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Sportime Ultimax

The Sportime Ultimax has a seam-free, clear top layer, making it more comfortable to use during workouts and easier to clean than most of its kind. It offers very firm support, so you can use it as a chair to stay healthier and improve posture while at work.
  • durable 2-ply construction
  • vibrant metallic color
  • extremely expensive
Brand Sportime
Model 009706
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Power Systems VersaBall

The Power Systems VersaBall offers medium resistance levels for a variety of workouts, and provides firm support, even when used with weights. It's a commercial grade option that would be just as well suited to a professional gym as it is for your home.
  • made of durable pvc
  • small size good for shorter people
  • inflation pump not included
Brand Power Systems
Model 80018
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Gaiam Total Body Kit

Put your abs, back, legs, hips, arms, and virtually any muscle groups to work with the Gaiam Total Body Kit. It includes DVD workouts by fitness expert Tanja Djelevic and an air pump so you can ensure it's always at full capacity, plus an optional stretch strap.
  • promises to improve core strength
  • available in three sizes
  • may be prone to unexpected bursting
Brand Gaiam
Model pending
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Isokinetics Tall Boy

For a versatile option, the Isokinetics Tall Boy includes a removable rolling chair base with an adjustable back rest, so it can be used just as effectively at a desk as it can on its own. Large casters give you adequate control for rolling, or not, around the office.
  • 300 lb weight limit
  • one-year manufacturer's guarantee
  • could stand to be more durable
Brand Isokinetics
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. ProBody Pilates

The ProBody Pilates is intended for core strength, balance, back rehabilitation, and for toning and sculpting to help you achieve full body wellness. It's available in three sizes, plus it includes a pump and comes with access to online exercise videos.
  • material is phthalate free
  • recommended by physical therapists
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
Brand ProBody Pilates
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Resist-a-Ball Pro Series

The Resist-a-Ball Pro Series is burst resistant up to 1,000 pounds, so you can incorporate it into the most vigorous and intense workouts without worrying about damaging it in any way. It's large size is ideal for individuals over 6 feet tall.
  • improves posture and balance
  • durable material for years of use
  • scuff-resistant coating
Brand Mad Dogg Athletics
Model RAB7229-04
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Superior Fitness

If you're looking for something that will drastically expand your workout options, Superior Fitness is the choice for you, as it includes a stability ring for isolation and adjustable resistance bands for over 100 different exercises.
  • burns fat while toning muscle
  • cushioned handles for comfort
  • can withstand pressures up to 600lbs
Brand UR Superior Fitness
Model 0000004809934
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Dynapro Anti-Slip

Boasting the ability to withstand up to 2,000 lbs. of pressure, the Dynapro Anti-Slip claims to be the strongest and most durable option on the market. Its high-quality PVC construction is impressively thick, and it comes in a nice range of sizes and colors.
  • great for use as an office chair
  • reaches full capacity in 24 hours
  • provides good back pain relief
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Myriad Benefits of Owning an Exercise Ball

With all of the advances in fitness equipment over the past 30 years, it might seem surprising that an exercise ball (aka stability ball) has remained so relevant. That is, of course, until you consider that an exercise ball is - and always has been - inexpensive, lightweight, low-risk, low-maintenance, durable, easy to use, and effective.

While a lot of fitness machines can help you develop core muscles, an exercise ball is actually proven to alleviate nerve inflammation, while working to correct certain orthopedic disorders, as well. What's more, an exercise ball is elastic and soft, whereas a squat rack can impose a pulsing strain on your back.

Exercise balls are portable, which means that you can take them with you to the park, or even the beach. Along those lines, a lot of exercise balls weigh less than 4 lbs, which means that they won't be a hazard for your children, and they could potentially provide a source of entertainment for your pets. Exercise balls have a significant weight capacity of at least 500 lbs, which means that you can sit on them. Exercise balls are also resilient, which means that you can squeeze them in between other items in your car.

The point of all this being that an exercise ball has more hidden benefits than you would probably think. It's a gateway into fitness with built-in assets for your health.

Several Basic Fitness Drills That Are Built Around an Exercise Ball

Exercise balls are so easy to use that simply leaning back against one of these devices and holding for several minutes can strengthen your core muscles. If you stand upright with an exercise ball wedged between your back and a wall, lowering your body and then raising it several times can tone your glutes, your lower-back, and your obliques, as well.

You can do incline push-ups that work your abs by lying vertically with your thighs resting on the exercise ball and your hands pressing down against the floor or mat. You can work your quads by doing several squats (with your legs hip-width apart) while holding an exercise ball with both hands above your head.

If you really want to challenge your abdominal muscles, then position your shins on the exercise ball with your arms, unbent, supporting your upper-body (You should look like you have just completed a push-up.) From this position, roll the ball forward (slowly) using your shins. Fold your body until it appears like an inverted V. Hold. Then roll the ball back until you are in the resting position. Hold, and then repeat several times.

When you're warming up or cooling down, you can exercise your obliques by standing, and then leaning down and placing one hand on the center of the ball. Raise your other arm out so both arms are stretched into a vertical line (pointing upward from the ball). Now take your outside leg and stretch it horizontally so it is running in a straight line from your hip. Hold, and then bring your leg back to the ground. Complete several reps, and then switch sides to work the opposite hip.

A Brief History of The Exercise Ball

In 1963 an Italian manufacturer named Aquiliano Cosani invented a large elastic ball that could be used for therapeutic purposes. Cosani named his product the Pezzi Ball, and he initially marketed it to physical therapists. These therapists discovered that a Pezzi Ball had a remarkable impact on certain types of back pain, and that it could be used to alleviate certain types of nerve conditions, as well.

One of these therapists, a Swiss doctor named Susanne Klein-Vogelbach, developed an entire system of physical therapy that was centered around a Pezzi Ball. Vogelbach's system, functional kinetics, was comprised of two types of exercises. There were static exercises, which required the patient to hold a position while leaning back against the ball, and there were mobile exercises, which required a patient to engage the ball while doing exercises that could stimulate the core.

Vogelbach's system yielded enough positive results that it caught the attention of American therapists, who were particularly interested in a Pezzi Ball's potential for promoting fitness. Based on research, America's physical therapy community found that a Swiss Ball (as they had taken to calling it) stimulated a variety of muscles by forcing the back to maintain stability amidst responding to an unstable object. This opened the door for manufacturers who rebranded the product as an exercise ball, subsequently promoting it as a resource for building muscles throughout the abs, quads, glutes, obliques, and thighs.

A lot of professional trainers, sports teams, and athletes began using exercise balls (or "stability balls") during the 1980s as a form of low-impact rehab from injuries. Shortly after, fitness instructors began building aerobic workouts around an exercise ball. Today, these balls continue to be a staple of the fitness and therapy communities. They've been adopted by the yoga community, as well.

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Last updated on November 16, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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