Choosing the Best Exercise Ball for Your Fitness Goals

If you are new to exercise, choosing the right exercise ball can be a challenging process. For best results, be sure to start by pinpointing exactly what your current fitness goals are.

Evaluate your Current Fitness Goals

Before you can successfully choose an exercise ball, you must first establish exactly what your current fitness goals are. Exercise balls are not only used by people who are interested in increasing their muscle mass. While they can be effectively used to achieve these goals, they can also be used in a number of other ways, including to help build core strength, improve your cardiovascular system, or to help in the rehabilitation from a specific injury.

Create a list of your specific fitness goals. If your goal involves a generalized increase in your body’s strength, consider a stability ball. In contrast, if you want to target only one or two specific muscle groups, a medicine ball may be more up your alley. Finally, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular system and help increase core strength, choose a bosu ball.

Medicine Ball

If your goal is to increase muscle strength or muscle tone in a specific muscle group, a medicine ball may be for you. Medicine balls range in size from that of a basketball down to a large croquet ball, and therefore can be used to perform bicep curls, shoulder raises, and other similar exercises.

Stability Ball

A stability ball is a great tool if you are interested in total body strength. A stability ball can be used in conjunction with squats, push ups, and other total body exercises. Due to the unstable working surface provided by a stability ball, exercises performed with this piece of equipment are in general much more challenging that the basic form of the exercise. For best results, consider using a spotter during your first few attempts with a stability ball.

Bosu Ball

A bosu ball is a combination of half of a stability ball fused to a hard, black plastic surface. This ball, therefore, looks like a globe that has been cut in half along the equator. The top part of the bosu ball is still made of the same material as a stability ball, and therefore is extremely unstable. Because of this, a bosu ball is often used to help individuals who are interested in increasing their core strength. These individuals are instructed to stand on top of the stability ball for as long as they can. Eventually, the bosu will be flipped over, so the harder, black side is facing up. Exercises that are performed on this surface are extremely challenging. In addition, to improve your cardiovascular system, try marching up and down on a bosu ball. This is a great exercise if you don’t have a lot of time–you can strengthen both your core and cardiovascular system at the same time.

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