11 Stability Ball Exercises to Enhance Your Body Shape
Would you believe me if I say that you could do more exercises on a stability ball than both your toes and fingers combined, multiplied by two? Exercise balls are not just bouncy, pretty balls lying around the gym. Fact — exercising on an unstable surface e.g. fitness balls, gives you that extra umph! According to one study about doing crunches on stability ball versus the traditional crunch, there’s a significant increase in muscle activity when doing the common crunch exercise on a stability ball. Also, performing more advanced variations like moving the ball from the upper back down to the lower back, doubles the muscle activity.
Now that we have established that stability balls, fitness balls, Swiss balls, physio balls — call it whatever you want — are a must-have tool for just about any exercise, the question is, how to find the correct size for you? The usual habit of determining the correct fit is simply sitting on the ball, and if your hips and knees form a right angle, you can proceed with that diameter. To help you better, here’s a basic guideline based on your height:
4'11" to 5'4" height: 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height: 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height: 75 cm ball
This Stability Ball Exercises infographic by Gym and Fitness, Australia’s favorite treadmill and strength equipment store, features various exercises you can do on your stability ball. For beginners, you can start with 3 - 5 sets consisting of 10 - 20 reps.
Reference:  Sternlicht E, Rugg S, Fujii LL, Tomomitsu KF, Seki MM. Electromyographic comparison of a stability ball crunch with a traditional crunch. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):506-9. 2007. PMID: 17530978
Jane is a health, fitness & nutrition enthusiast / blogger at The GAF Way. She is a nurse by profession and a writer by passion, who loves reading and writing about anything health and fitness related. She has a soft spot for macadamia chocolate and green tea.