The concept of incorporating a yoga ball into an at-home exercise routine is not a new one. Whether you’ve used one to isolate and activate your core, perform rehab exercises after an injury, or trying your hand at Pilates, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across a yoga ball at one stage or another.
Yoga balls were invented in the early 1960s in Italy for gymnastic exercises and spread throughout Europe. From there, they started being used in rehabilitation in both children and adults and, by 1990, had become an integral piece of equipment for US therapists because of its fitness, neurological, and orthopedic applications.
Today yoga balls are a staple in almost all gyms, physical therapy practices, Pilates and yoga studios, home gyms, and even corporate offices.
Quick Yoga Ball Buying Guide
If you’re looking to jump directly to our top picks for exercise bikes, here they are below. All the picks are excellent choices and depend on your needs.
|Best Overall||Black Mountain Products 2000lbs Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball|
|Best Value||PROMIC Exercise Ball|
|Best Reviews||URBNFit Exercise Ball|
|Best Heavy-Use||Trideer Exercise Ball|
|Best Commercial Grade||DYNAPRO Exercise Ball|
|Best Price||BalanceFrom Anti-Burst and Slip Resistant Exercise Ball|
|Best Family Use||SmarterLife Exercise Ball|
|Best Pro Use||Live Infinitely Exercise Ball|
|Best Brand Name||Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball|
What is a Yoga Ball?
A yoga ball is a large, softball filled with air. It’s used made from professional-grade rubber that’s BPA and heavy metal-free. Yoga ball sizes vary between 14 and 34 inches.
They go by many names such as Swiss Ball, exercise ball, balance ball, birth ball, stability ball, physioball, Pilates ball, Pezzi ball, among many others.
Why Should I Buy a Yoga Ball?
Yoga balls are an affordable and accessible piece of exercise and rehabilitation equipment with many different uses. They’ve become a staple of most home gyms because there are so many kinds of exercises that they can be used for from just sitting on the ball to complex, structured aerobic exercise routines that build core strength.
- Core strength, most exercises can be adapted and done on a stability ball, making it more challenging and effective. Core strength is at the root of any exercise, from dumbbell presses to bicep curls, as they should be constantly engaged in order to maintain stability and prevent injury.
- Flexibility, exercise balls should be used as part of your warm-up to reduce the risk of injury.
- Balance, just the simple act of sitting on a yoga ball improves your balance as your stabilizer muscles are activated. Sitting requires the use of your abdominals and back muscles to maintain balance while has a positive effect on your posture.
- Back health, if you have back problems, a stability ball can be a helpful asset during an exercise routine as it supports your lower back. This is the primary reason physical therapists and chiropractors will recommend an exercise ball for workouts. You can learn how to find a neutral spine, correct posture, increase lower back mobility, increase control and strength, and lift properly.
- Cardio, you can use a yoga ball to get your heart rate up because they can easily be incorporated into several different exercises from planks to wood chops.
- Proprioception, your body’s awareness as it moves in space improves along with your coordination, posture, and balance, offering you protection against injury as well as improved fitness and performance.
How to Choose the Best Yoga Ball
It’s important to do a bit of research before you buy a yoga ball as you want to choose the right ball for your height, as well as factoring in comfort level and quality. Because yoga balls have so many different applications, the size of the ball will make a difference to the efficacy of your workout.
In most cases, you should use a yoga ball that corresponds to your height. Standing next to the ball, it should come up to knee level or slightly above. When you sit on the ball, your knees should form a 90-degree angle, and your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
Finding the right size:
- If you’re between 5’0″ and 5’5″, choose a small ball (22″)
- If you’re between 5’6″ and 5’11”, choose a medium ball (26”)
- If you’re between 6’0″ and 6’3″, choose a large ball (30″)
You might decide to opt for a larger ball if you:
- Have a back injury
- Are overweight
- Have longer legs, relative to your torso
- Are using the ball primarily for sitting or stretching
The Black Mountain Products Exercise Ball is one of the best on the market with over 5000 reviews and an excellent rating. The balls are available in 5 different colors and five size options: 18 inch (for 5’ and under), 22 inch (for 5’ to 5’6), 26 inch (for 5’6 to 6’), 30 inch (for 6’ to 6’5) and 34 inch (for 6’5 and above).
It’s a professional-grade stability ball with a 2000 lbs static weight rating and 1000 lbs anti-burst rating. The kit includes a foot pump and a started brochure and comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Best Value: PROMIC Exercise Ball
One of the most affordable yoga balls on the market, the PROMIC Exercise Ball, nonetheless delivers on both quality and durability. The balls are made from professional grade rubber that’s BPA and heavy metal-free. The ball itself is available in 8 different color options, and five different sizes: 18 inch (for 4’8 and under), 22 inch (for 4’8 to 5’3), 26 inch (for 5’4 to 5’10), 30 inch (for 5’11 to 6’4) and 34 inch (for 6’4 and above). It’s slip-resistant and has a matte-textured easy cleaning surface
Designed to work the whole body, the PROMIC stability ball builds strength and stability. It can be incorporated into a rehabilitation program, yoga, Pilates, cardio drumming exercises, or even as a replacement for a desk chair. The ball can support a weight of over 1100 lbs, so there is no risk of bursting during use. After-sales support is good as PROMIC offers 30-day returns, a 12-month warranty, and lifetime customer service. The handy foot pump is a helpful addition that comes with the ball allows the user to quickly and easily inflate the ball.
Best Reviews: URBNFit Exercise Ball
With over 5700 reviews at the time of writing, the URBNFit Exercise Ball is one of our top picks. It’s a gym-grade professional exercise ball made from high-quality PVC material with a 2000 lbs anti-burst construction.
Designed to integrate into the home or office environment, the stability ball will make your yoga, pilates, or stretching workout more effective, and the ball comes with a handy dual-action pump, so it’s quick and easy to inflate and deflate.
With the URBNFit Exercise Ball, it’s simple to get started right away with easy-to-follow instructions, a workout guide, and two air stoppers. The URBNFit brand is a reputable name in exercise equipment, and customer service is always available to assist with any issues, offering full refunds or replacements.
Best Heavy Use: Trideer Exercise Ball
Trideer makes among the best yoga balls on the market, offering extra-thick balls (2000 micrometers), with a weight resistance of up to 2200 lbs. Their high-density exercise balls are made from professional quality, non-toxic PVC (free from BPA and heavy metals.) And their durability and versatility can be seen in the reviews, which range from heavy adults to active children.
The balls are ideal for fitness routines from yoga and Pilates to abdominal low-impact exercises and also often used as a replacement for an office chair to relieve back pain and improve your posture.
Trideer offers the complete packages: the foot pump is excellent quality (and a better option than the hand pumps that come with some other stability balls), and the ball also comes with two extra air stoppers and inflation instructions. Trideer also offers excellent customer service with 30-day returns, 12 months warranty, and lifetime customer service.
Best Commercial Grade: DYNAPRO Exercise Ball
The DYNAPRO exercise ball is another top-performing stability ball at an affordable price. It’s available in seven different colors and four sizes so you can find the perfect ball to add to your at-home workout. They’re engineered for heavy commercial gym use, built to withstand thousands of reps every day. And the brand stands behind their balls’ performance; they were founded to help their customers get results, and customer support will go out of their way to ensure that this happens – whether at the gym or home.
Users like the matte finish and neutral color options that make it the perfect fit for use as a desk chair (as well as exercising) and, with thousands of 5-star reviews, this ball is a sure bet. The ball comes with a hand pump for easy inflation so you can start using the ball almost immediately, whether it’s for fitness training, or as a desk chair. They feature anti-burst technology, each is manufactured to a thickness of 2275 micrometers for added resistance to punctures and can withstand weights of up to 2200 lbs without popping. The exterior of the ball features ribbing to hold or sit on without slipping (even if you’re sweating hard from your workout!)
An added bonus is that DYNAPRO is based in the US with a team of certified personal trainers who are available to help you get the most out of your exercise ball.
One of the most cost-effective yoga balls available, the BalanceFrom Exercise Ball punches above its weight both in terms of quality and customer service. Made from thick, durable PVC, the ball is rated up to 2,000 pounds and offers slip-resistant features for your safety.
The easy-to-clean balls come with a foot pump and a 2-year warranty, and are available in five size options: 38-45cm (S), 48-55cm (M), 58-65cm (L), 68-75cm (XL), 78-85cm (XXL). Every ball comes with a BalanceFrom satisfaction guarantee, which makes purchasing an exercise ball from them a stress-free experience.
There are a number of uses for the BalanceFrom yoga balls, including exercise (such as Pilates and yoga), sitting (as a chair replacement for both adults and children), and for birthing as the balls support the labor process.
Best Family Use: SmarterLife Exercise Ball
The SmarterLife yoga ball is one of the most popular on the market, with over 1700 user reviews. The balls can be used for just about anything from yoga and Pilates to stability, birthing, and physical therapy. Users have even used them for flexible seating in classrooms and as an office ball chair. It has one of the widest ranges of color options available – with ten different choices, and comes in four sizes (45cm, 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm).
Top features include a high 2000 lbs anti-burst rating for maximum safety and an anti-slip matte surface, in addition to an even all-around 0.2 cm thick PVC casing. Each exercise ball comes with a hand pump for easy inflation, a measuring tape so you can inflate the ball to the correct size, extra ball plugs, a ball plug removal tool, and an exclusive fitness and lifestyle ebook guide.
SmarterLife has a different approach from many of its competitors, as it’s owned by a husband and wife team that are dedicated to making a difference. This means that they have put extra care into the design and manufacturer of the balls, which contain no BPAs, phthalates, harmful chemicals, or heavy metals. And they have partnered with Trees for the Future so that each purchase made goes towards helping farmers plant trees and transform local communities.
It also includes “The 7 Secrets to Your Ideal Body”(eBook).
Best Pro Use: Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
The Live Infinitely yoga ball has nearly 3000 reviews, and users can’t stop raving about the excellent durability and thickness of the balls, as well as the affordable price-point. There are 11 different colors to choose from and five different sizes (55cm – 95cm). They’re perfect for improving posture, relieving lower back pain, for use as part of a home exercise routine, as well as for pregnancy or as a desk chair replacement (as it has lower flex than other balls).
Every Live Infinitely ball is made from responsible materials and comes with a 1-year unlimited warranty, giving you complete peace of mind. The professional-grade PVC manufacturing can support up to 2200 lbs and is BPA, later, heavy metal and phthalate-free.
Additional extras include a hand pump, two air plugs, and a plug remover as well as mobile-friendly online exercise guides and training workouts.
Best Brand Name: Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball
This highly popular balance ball by Gaiam is a simple, cost-effective solution for home workouts. It comes with a whole balance ball kit that includes a workout guide for abs, glutes, and back as well as a 105-minute workout.
The balls have a weight capacity of 300 lbs and are designed for all skill levels and are available in one size only (75cm), recommended for users between 6’0 and 6’5, and can be used as part of a home-fitness solution or as an alternative to your office chair. There are two other sizes in the Gaiam range (55cm and 65cm).
This yoga ball is ideal if you are looking for an impact-free workout and, when used in conjunction with the Total Body Balance Ball Workout, will focus on all the major muscle groups while improving core strength and natural balance.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Yoga Balls
What do yoga balls do?
Yoga balls can be used in many different ways, not just as part of a yoga routine, and the range of difficulty levels means that you can progress and still continue to get benefits from your ball. They can be used for:
- Physical therapy rehabilitation, particularly for back injuries as it can take pressure off the injured area during a therapy session.
- Core exercises, a yoga ball, enhances simple gym exercises such as sit-ups and planks by increasing the range of motion and encouraging increased muscle engagement.
- Resistance training, sitting, or leaning on a yoga ball while doing resistance exercises increases the resistance making the workout more challenging.
- Yoga and Pilates poses, many instructors will recommend including a yoga ball in a Pilates or yoga routine to enhance the poses and exercises.
- Sitting, the benefits of even just sitting on an exercise ball means that yoga balls have become a popular replacement for an office desk chair and even in the classroom.
- Birthing, sitting upright during labor, can encourage the pelvic muscles to open. Yoga balls can also reduce labor pain as well as stress and anxiety.
- Children, sitting on a balance ball (rather than a school chair) can help children with sensory processing disorders, as well as improving balance and posture.
How much should you inflate your yoga ball?
The best option is to inflate the ball to its correct size (rather than inflating it to a specific psi). This means that if you’ve purchased a 26-inch ball, you should use the pump that comes with the ball and continue inflating until the ball measures 26 inches in diameter. We’ve found the easiest way to do this is to make a pencil mark on the wall at the right height, then continue inflating the ball until it reaches the mark.
There are two things to keep in mind here:
- Don’t over-inflate the ball as this will increase the chance of it bursting.
- Some brands of yoga balls need to stretch a bit when they’re brand new, so if you’ve just opened the box to start inflating your ball, go easy and inflate to 80%, leave the ball overnight, and inflate the remaining 20% the next day.
Does sitting on a yoga ball help?
The idea of sitting on a yoga ball at work, rather than a standard office chair, has gained traction because of the many benefits that yoga balls offer. But if you’re sitting, rather than actively exercising with the ball, does it help? Yes, it does! The instability of sitting on an exercise ball means that the user has to activate their core (or trunk) muscles which have the benefits of:
- Burning extra calories, if you sit on an exercise ball, you’re making micro-movements and adjustments all the time, and if you’re moving, then you’re burning calories.
- Relieving back pain, sitting on an exercise ball means that you’re constantly being reminded to focus on your posture, which relieves pressure on the spine and muscles in the back.
- Toning your core, a stability ball doesn’t have a backrest, so it will help you tone your abs and obliques because you have to engage your core muscles.
- Reminding you to stretch, with a normal office chair, it’s easy to go for hours without taking a break, but if you’re sitting on a balance ball, you’ll probably have to get up every hour or two. And, because you’ve got your yoga ball with you, you might even be inspired to do a couple of stretches using the ball during your break.
How long does a yoga ball last?
This will depend on the quality of the yoga ball that you’ve purchased and how often you use it. In a commercial gym setting, where a yoga ball will be used more frequently, it will typically last between one and two years. If you’re using a yoga ball as part of your at-home fitness routine, it should last up to five years.
From gym studios to physical therapist offices and even classrooms, yoga balls have increasingly become a staple. They’re affordable, incredibly versatile, and can be adapted for beginners through to advanced users. So, if you’ve been thinking of getting one for your home gym or to replace your office chair, now’s the time to make a decision.
Our top two choices are the Black Mountain Products Exercise Ball for best overall performance and the Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball for best brand. Both offer an excellent quality ball design along with help after-sales support.
The other balls that we reviewed all thoroughly deserve to be on our list of top yoga balls as they continue to outstrip the competition, offering innovative home-fitness solutions and receiving rave reviews from thousands of users from around the world.