How to Use an Exercise Ball


The gym ball is so versatile it can be used to help someone who is just starting out in the gym as well as experienced exercisers.

“A gym ball can be used by beginners to work on their squat technique. If they place the gym ball between the wall and their lower back, it can be used to support their back and help increase the range of movement in the squat.

“Just sitting on a gym ball is great for learning basic co-ordination and balance, and for helping people to improve their awareness of the position and movement of their own body.”

“For the more advanced gym-goer it can help by adding an extra level of instability, increasing the challenge of their workouts in a new and potentially unfamiliar way.”

Select the correct size for your height.

When you sit on the ball, both feet should be flat on the floor, and your knees should be bent at 90-degree angles. If you’re buying your exercise ball online and can’t test it out, buy one based on your height. The following exercise balls roughly relate to your height:

  • If you are shorter than 5’1” (155 cm), try a 45 cm ball.
  • If you are between 5’1” and 5’7” (155 to 170 cm), choose a 55 cm ball.
  • If you are between 5’8 and 6’1” (173 to 185 cm), choose a 65 cm ball.
  • If you are taller than 6’2” (188 cm), choose a 75 cm ball.

Find the right place to exercise with the Swiss ball.

An open area with plenty of space is the most ideal for when you are using a Swiss ball. Make sure you remove all heavy or sharp objects to minimize risks of accidents.

Keep note of your breathing.

When you are trying to balance on the exercise ball, you may find yourself trying to hold your breath since you are concentrating on not losing balance. Try and breathe normally as you exercise.

Performing Beginner Core Exercises

Core-strength exercises strengthen abs and other core muscles

Core-strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. You can do many core-strength exercises with a fitness ball.Breathe freely and deeply and focus on tightening your abs during each core-strength exercise. If you have back problems, osteoporosis or any other health concern, talk to your doctor before doing these core-strength exercises

Abdominal crunch

  • In general, use a fitness ball sized so that your knees are at a right angle when you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Do each core-strength exercise five times and maintain good form and technique. As you get stronger, gradually increase to 12 to 15 repetitions. For most people, a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions can build strength and improve fitness as effectively as can multiple sets of the same exercise.
  • Sit on the ball with your feet resting on the floor, about hip-width apart. Keep your back straight. Cross your arms on your chest.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Lean back, as shown, until you feel the muscles in your midsection tighten. Hold for three deep breaths.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat

Gym ball reverse crunch

Hold the ball between your calves and the backs of your thighs. Curl your hips off the floor and bring your knees towards your chest. Pause at the top, then lower slowly to the start.

Do a ball lift

Lie on your back with the exercise ball between your feet. Clasp your hands behind your head. Engage your abs and squeeze the ball between your feet. Keep your legs straight and lift the ball towards the ceiling. Stop when your legs are perpendicular to the floor.

  • Lower the ball back to within one inch of the floor, but don’t touch the floor.
  • Repeat the ball lift at least 10 times.