Yoga balls are invaluable tools that can really help you in a multitude of ways. If you’re looking to achieve a stronger core, improved posture, and more, then a yoga ball is definitely the way to go.
However, something important to consider about yoga balls is that they actually come in a variety of different sizes. And if you’re new to the yoga scene, it can get a little overwhelming and confusing when it comes to making your purchase.
Especially when you consider that you need to get the sizing just right. If you opt for something too small, there’s a good chance it will deflate mid-workout.
Certainly not ideal. But on the other hand, if you opt for one that’s a little too large then you’re not going to be able to sit or stretch over it comfortably. Making it pretty redundant.
So, you really need to find the perfect size for you.
But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems – and we’ll walk you through it too!
What Is A Stability Ball?
Stability ball, yoga ball, fitness ball, swiss ball…they are all different names for the exact same thing. I know, confusing, right?
But what actually are all these different names referring to? Well, essentially, it’s a soft plastic ball that is designed specifically for exercise, in particular weight training and core strengthening.
The ball size and the amount of air pressure in them can vary, but they have the same purpose – to engage whole muscle groups for stability and toning. However, some of them also work your smaller microfiber muscles too.
What Size Ball Will You Need?
Okay, so as we mentioned a little bit earlier, stability balls come in a few different sizes and you’ll need to find the right one for you.
And this can be a little tricky since there are no ‘standard size’ balls. You’ll actually need to find the right-sized ball for your height as well as your usage.
When you do a bit of stability ball shopping, you’ll soon become aware that the balls are actually sold and sized by their diameter once they are inflated. Let’s take a look at some of the typical sizes you can expect to find.
- Extra Large – 75 cm (30 inches)
- Large – 65 cm (26 inches)
- Medium – 55 cm (22 inches)
- Small – 45 cm (18 inches)
- Extra Small – 30cm (12 inches)
Now, as we mentioned above, you’ll usually want to match your height to the correct ball, so let’s take a look at the measurements suggestions below (in feet and inches.)
- 6’2 (Or Taller) – Extra Large
- 5’6 – 6’2 – Large
- 5’ – 5’5 – Medium
- 4’6 – 5’ – Small
- 4’6 (Or Shorter) – Extra Small
How To Choose The Correct Size Stability Ball?
So, from the measurements above, you should be able to now have a rough estimate of which ball will work best for you. But let’s take a closer look at selecting the correct ball.
The correct-sized ball should allow you to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle, and your thighs need to be parallel to the ground.
If you can’t sit in this position on the ball, then it’s not the right fit for you.
You know how to use height to calculate which ball should be the best match for you, but there is also another way to go about it.
You can measure the ball size you’ll need by wall sitting and marking where the ball should fit beneath you. Let’s do a step-by-step guide for how to do it.
- Stand – Stand with your back up against the wall. Make sure you’re standing up straight and your entire back is touching the wall.
- Slide – Slide yourself down into a sitting position with your back still flush against the wall. Your hips and knees should both be at a 90-degree angle.
- Mark – Using a pencil mark the wall just underneath your tailbone
- Measure – Use a tape measure to measure the distance from the floor to your marking. This is the desired height for your new ball.
Please keep in mind, though, that the ball will compress once you actually sit on the ball. So, if you are in between sizes, always go up a size rather than down.
Ways You Can Use Your Stability Ball
Once you are confident with the size you need and have obtained your ball, the next thing you’ll want to know is how to use it. So, we thought we’d give a few brief examples of how you can get using your new stability ball.
- Deeper & More Advanced Stretches – You can practice much deeper stretches without the fear of overextension. You can also try a few poses that you otherwise might have been a little apprehensive to try.
- Strength Training – Think of the stability ball as a workout bench with a little extra give. You can introduce dumbbell exercises with the exercise ball to create more full-body workouts.
- Core Workouts – With a stability ball there is no end to the ab workouts you can try all of which help to work out your core muscles.
When you first go looking for a stability ball, the number of different sizes on offer can make everything pretty daunting.
You don’t know which one is best for you and might not even have known what the sizes actually meant.
Thankfully, now, you should have a much better idea of which size will work best for you.
For the most part, it really all just depends on your specific height. And the general rule of thumb here is that the taller you are, the larger ball you’ll need.
Now, you should be ready to select the perfect-sized stability ball for you. So, what are you waiting for? Go get yours today.
There’s no end to the amount of fun (and sweat) that can be had with them.