An exercise ball is one of the most affordable and versatile pieces of workout equipment you can add to a home gym. Exercise balls are great for people of all fitness levels, can be used for everything from weight lifting to yoga, and come in a wide variety of sizes.
Exercise balls can be a a great way for runners to work on core stabilization techniques, and can even function as an office chair, helping you strengthen your back, engage your core, and make sitting at a desk all day a bit more tolerable. If you travel a lot, they're super easy to deflate, pack away in a suitcase, and blow up again when you plan to use them once you've arrived at your destination.
While most exercise balls look pretty similar, there are some key differences that will help you choose the one that's right for you.
How to Choose an Exercise Ball
When looking for an exercise ball to add to your workout routine or home office, you want to make sure that you get one that will fit both your body type and your needs in terms of its usage.
One of the most important things to consider when buying an exercise ball is the weight limit. While most balls will be able to hold over 300 pounds, there are options that can support up to 2,000 pounds. While a weight limit this high may seem overkill, it will ensure that your exercise ball won't pop or leak air, even during periods of heavy use. This is particularly important if you plan on using it over long periods of time, like if you're using it in lieu of a traditional office chair.
Also consider the size of the ball. Most exercise balls will come in various sizes, each of which correlates to a particular height range. It's always better to choose a ball that's on the smaller side over one that's too tall, since you don't want to find yourself having trouble getting on the ball or struggling to have your feet touch the ground. Most balls will have a key that shows the proper size for each height range. There are also much smaller balls used for practicing Pilates, which will range between 12 and 14 inches in height, and are essentially one-size-fits-all.
How We Selected
To determine the best exercise balls on the market, we looked at expert-tested reviews from trusted sources like Prevention and Insider. We then took into account price, materials, size, firmness, and durability. Finally, we consulted more than 116,000 reviews, written by people who’ve bought these models on sites like Amazon, to bring you the exercise balls below.
Looking for some more ways to stay active at home? Check out our top picks for under desk treadmills.