Choosing a Gym Ball

Stretching on a gym ball

For all-intents-and-purposes a Gym Ball (often referred to as a Swiss Ball or Exercise Ball) is a wobbly bench.

The gym ball’s instability and, therefore, your greater reliance on your primary stabilizing muscles (abs and lower back, commonly referred to as “core”) have seen an incredible rise in its popularity to improve your “core” muscles.

Realistically, your “core” muscles are at work during all motions/ exercises and are placed at most stress/ work during major compound exercises, such as Deadlifts, Squats etc. With this in mind, performing “advanced” exercises like those stated will have a greater overall benefit to help improve “core” strength, provided you have no prior contraindication (i.e. existing injury). However, a Gym Ball is a comfortable and affordable choice for training at home, as well as being the most popular option, hence its inclusion in our sample gym workout routines.

If you’re buying a Gym Ball, please buy one of commercial-grade. The difference in price between a cheap home-use ball and a commercial-quality ball is fairly insignificant, as you can get a good-quality commercial ball for $20 to $30. For use though, the difference is significant – the commercial anti-burst balls being far less pliable.

Please also make note of the sizing suggestions below: 55cm Ball. To suit: those under 5'6 65cm Ball. To suit: those under 5'6 - 5'10 75cm Ball. To suit: those over 5'10

This article is an extract from the Gym Professor publication Home Gym Workouts: Gym Ball & Dumbbell Workouts for Women.