Last updated: August 11, 2021

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If you're looking for a way to strengthen your muscles and get your body in shape, a pilates ball could be the ideal way to help with your workouts.

Pilates is a great way to exercise the body and mind. Designed to help you exercise, pilates balls are inseparable companions when it comes to this activity.

Whenever someone thinks of this practice, the first thing that comes to mind are the big balls, special for the modality. But are they all the same? Before making your purchase, check out a detailed analysis of the models we have separated for you.




Summary

  • Pilates balls come in different sizes, so it's a good idea to measure yourself and choose the right one for you.
  • It is important to check the pressure of the ball so that it is more comfortable during your exercises.
  • A pilates ball should be sturdy, so check the manufacturer's specifications and opt for more durable materials.

The Best Pilates Ball: Our Picks

Buying guide

Pilates is an activity that is increasingly present in the everyday lives of Brazilians. If you want to practice this activity not only in a gym, but also at home or in open spaces, such as parks or beaches, it is essential to have your own ball.

Check out the Buying Guide below for everything you need to know when buying your pilates ball.

Imagem mostra mulheres praticando pilates com sua bola.

The pilates ball assists in dozens of exercises in this activity. (Source: dolgachov / 123RF)

What is a pilates ball?

Also known as Swiss balls or exercise balls, pilates balls are nothing more than inflatable plastic balls that help you do physical exercises. They are ideal for toning muscles, doing sit-ups or helping with a series of exercises, as they are a great help when stretching. They can be used by children and the elderly.

Made of different materials and sizes, pilates balls are essential if you intend to start with a series of softer exercises, bringing more well-being and quality of life.

Did you know that pilates was created during the First World War?

The activity was developed to help gain muscle strength, improve balance and posture and to aid in the rehabilitation of patients, including some wounded in the war

What are the main types of Pilates balls?

If you are thinking of starting to exercise, in this case pilates, it is essential that you know the different types of pilates balls available on the market.

There are two traditional models of pilates balls: those with side handles and individual balls. See the table below for the main differences between these two models.

Without side handles With side handles
Cost Models without handles are cheaper It offers more stability during the exercises
Safety It is necessary to be more careful with your balance during exercises It is safer for children and elderly
Exercises Recommended for more experienced users Allows a greater variation of exercises

Although both types of ball are suitable for exercises, it is important to consider the type of activity you want to perform and which model is more comfortable and practical for your exercise series.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a pilates ball?

Comfortable and ideal for stretching exercises and muscle strengthening, pilates balls have no age restrictions and can be used by children, pregnant women and the elderly.

However, you need to take some care when choosing which pilates ball is best for you and take into account some small disadvantages you may encounter along the way.

Check our table below before making your decision if this is the best tool to help your exercise routine.

Advantages
  • Can be deflated for easy storage
  • Ideal for muscle strengthening and toning routines
  • Ideal for people of all ages and sizes
Disadvantages
  • Can take up a lot of space
  • Cannot be left near sharp or flammable instruments
  • If shared, special attention needs to be paid to cleaning and sanitising your ball

How much does it cost?

You can find pilates balls on the market ranging from $20.00 to $100.00 depending on the quality of the coating, size and resistance of the ball.

The most expensive pilates balls are those with massaging functions or that have built-in handles and knobs, with models ranging from $ 70.00 to $ 100.00.

The models shown in this review range from $ 17.00 to $ 70.00. It is worth checking which is the best cost/benefit for you and which model is the most useful for your exercise series.

Purchase Criteria: Factors to Compare Types of Pilates Ball

Very common in gyms, pilates balls are practical and you can easily have one at home to help you with your daily exercise routine. It can even be incorporated into common daily activities: you can sit on it to stretch your spine while you work or play.

To ensure your safety and well-being, it is important to consider a few factors before purchasing. That way, you can be sure you are choosing the best model for you.

  • Material
  • Size
  • Types of Pilates ball
  • Exercise Modalities

Carefully check out the items detailed above and consider which model is best for you. Also remember to consult an expert who can help you choose the best exercises.

Material

Most pilates balls on the market today are made of PVC, a highly resistant, elastic and non-toxic material, ensuring greater durability and safety when using the product.

Check the product specifications before making your purchase to ensure that it is safe to use. Good quality pilates balls are capable of supporting an average of 300 kg.

One way to test it is to not inflate it completely and then sit on the pilates ball, feeling the resistance to its weight while moving smoothly.

Size

Pilates balls come in different diameters, so it is essential to choose a size that is right for your height, so you can perform the desired exercises correctly without damaging your health.

To have a reference, please refer to the table below to understand a little bit about the relationship between your height and the size of the pilates ball.

Ball diameter Person's height
45 cm 1.40 m to 1.54 m
55 cm 1.55 m to 1.69 m
65 cm 1.70 m to 1.87 m
75 cm 1.88 m to 2.03 m
85 cm Above 2.04 m

Types of pilates ball

Today, there are three types of pilates balls on the market to meet different needs. Please see below for the main variations:

  • Pilates ball with support handles. Ideal for beginners or older users, the handles help you get used to the pilates ball and allow for exercises using the arms.
  • Traditional. The traditional pilates ball is ideal for more experienced pilates users, helping with balance, posture correction and muscle toning.
  • Half Pilates Ball. A half pilates ball is just half a ball on a base, helping with floor exercises such as abdominal crunches.

Exercise Modality

With the help of a Pilates ball, you can perform a multitude of exercises that contribute to improving your physical and mental health. You can use it to do abdominal crunches, isometric planks, leg presses, etc.

Pilates balls are also ideal for physiotherapy and recovery exercises. They can even be used in hydrotherapy sessions.

Remember that before starting any physical activity, it is important to consult a trusted specialist to guide the ideal model of pilates ball for you, as well as the most appropriate exercise routine.

(Source of the highlighted image: ArtCoreStudios / Pixabay)

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