Fitness Gear to Fit Your Goals

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Exercise Balls

If the gym isn't your thing, it's good to know that you can get a vigorous fitness workout at home with the right equipment. Fitness balls come in a variety of sizes and styles for a wide range of exercises that you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Whether you wish to exercise alone or enjoy a workout with a friend, the right ball can help to increase or maintain fitness levels.

What are the common ball types?

Whether you're looking for a ball to help with your Pilates or yoga fitness routine or if you want gear that will increase your balance for improved overall performance, there's a ball made to help.

  • Stability balls: These are typically large and good for all-over fitness workouts. Placing the weight of your body on the ball, you must utilize more core strength to maintain stability. This type of gear is often used with Pilates exercises.
  • Balance trainers: Also called yoga balls, these have a rounded side and a flat side. As the name implies, this type of exercise equipment can help to increase balance and stability during workouts. The popular Bosu ball is a type of balance trainer.
  • Weighted balls: Also known as medicine balls, these can be added to your exercise routine to increase flexibility and strength. They come in various sizes to accommodate your fitness level or exercise routine. These balls can increase muscle strength when used as a part of a Pilates workout.
Which type of balls are designed for total body exercise?

Balance trainers, such as BOSU, and stability balls can be used for working out the entire body without having to go to the gym. This is because exercises for the upper body, lower body, and core can all be performed on these types of fitness equipment.

What is BOSU?

BOSU is a balance trainer. The letters in BOSU represent the phrase "both sides up". Like half of a ball attached to a flat, rigid platform, the Bosu ball can be used with the rounded side facing up or down depending on the type of fitness exercise. Place the flat area on the ground to use with exercises such as for Pilates or yoga. Balance and fitness can be increased using a Bosu ball in either position at home or the gym.

What size of stability ball is rated for your size?

Exercise balls made to increase fitness and stability come in many sizes. For proper balance, choose a size based on your height:

  • 45cm: for those from 4 feet 6 inches to 5 feet tall;
  • 55cm: for those from 5 feet to 5 feet 5 inches in height;
  • 65cm: recommended for those from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall;
  • 75cm: for those who are taller than 6 feet 2 inches.

How do you use a ball in a fitness routine?

If you already engage in a routine, such as Pilates, an exercise ball can be used to increase the intensity of the workout. When you use a stability ball or BOSU for support, this works core muscles as you try to maintain your balance. Weighted balls can be held for added resistance.

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