What Swiss Ball Size Do I Need?
This is a question that I have received countless times throughout the years. The question of what Swiss Ball size do I need can be challenging, as the main issue is that there is sometimes not one right answer! I have created this Guide to help you find out what Swiss ball size you need. The appropriate size ball will change according to your:
- Intended Use: sitting, exercises, and which particular exercises you choose.
Swiss Ball Size Guide
When sitting upright on an exercise ball:
- Feet should be flat on the floor – with an even weight distribution.
- Knees should be level or slightly lower than the pelvis – creating an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater at the hips and knees (thighs parallel to ground or pointing down slightly).
- Pelvis, shoulders, and ears should be in a vertical line – the body should not be leaning in any direction as a counterbalance. Bouncing up and down lightly will usually produce this alignment.
|YOUR HEIGHT||BALL HEIGHT||BALL SIZE|
|Up to 4’10”
|4’8″ to 5’5″
(140 – 165cm)
|5’6″ to 6’0″
(165 – 185cm)
|6’0″ to 6’5″
(185 – 195cm)
Sizes based upon height are approximate. If you are in between (for instance, you stand between 5’5″ and 5’6″ tall) you could choose to go either way. Consider your other body characteristics and how you plan to use the ball. If you are 5’5″ and weigh 100kgs, you probably ought to go with a 65 cm ball. On the other hand, if you are 5’5″, but have very short legs, you might prefer a 55 cm ball. Similarly, if you intend to exercise while standing or lying on your back, the smaller ball would work better.
Still undecided? When in doubt, it is safer to choose the larger size. You always have the option of inflating the ball less. Just bear in mind, releasing air from the exercise ball will cause it to lose air pressure. As the ball flattens out, this will actually make it more stable, as it has a larger contact area with the resisting surface and the body. This means that stabilizing and balancing exercises will become easier and will lose some effectiveness. I have 2 Swiss balls at home, a 55cm that I use for exercises, and a 65cm one to stretch with.
Stretching with a Swiss Ball and Foam Roller
Check out the Celebrity Trainer Personalised Stretching Guide, where you can create your very own unique, individualised stretch program. As an Exercise Physiologist, I love guiding and helping my clients to correct their posture, learn which muscles are actually tight, so need stretching, and which ones are actually ‘taught’. Stretching ‘taught’ muscles can create pain, poor posture and injury as you are just weakening and lengthening the muscle further. Taught muscles need strengthening.
Find out HERE exactly which of YOUR muscles are tight and which are actually weak/taught, so you know what you need to stretch and what to strengthen only each day. Here’s to amazing posture, a pain-free back and a decreased risk of injury.
Foam rolling is also very important for keeping your muscles supple and loose. Sometimes the fascia (the casing around the muscle) is what is actually tight and causing you pain. A foam roller is like your very own personal massage therapist! It can release trigger points, reduce tension and help correct posture when used correctly.
Download your FREE Foam Rolling Program
If you don’t yet have a foam roller you can get one here.