Choosing the right Swiss ball.
So you now want to purchase a Swiss ball? What size is right for your body? Which material is going to be the most suitable for your training surface and how much are you looking to spend?
The first thing you want to take into consideration is the size of the ball. Don’t make the same mistake I made when starting out and fill up your living room with a bunch of giant swissy's when you aren't training the local HIgh School Basketball team. I quickly learnt the next day when taking out my all girls group that ball diameter is an important consideration to take into account before buying your first Swiss ball.
What to look for
You can't really determine this by looking on the box but for a Swiss ball to be the correct size, you ideally would like to have a 90 degree angle between your legs and the ground when seated on the ball. If you bought a ball too big, no problem, just let a little air out. It is always better to have a ball that is too big rather than too small so that you can make this kind of adjustment. I am just over 6'0 ft and I have found that 55cm (21")- 65cm (26") works best for myself and my shorter clients. You can also find 75cm balls but I am yet to work with someone who needed one that big.
Just like there are many different sizes, there are also many different materials which is why you can see a range in prices from around $20 all the way up to about $110. Depending on what you are using it for, a cheaper ball may just be the right option for you. But, like anything, you get what you pay for. If you are using your ball around the house for light workouts or stretching in your living room or even using it as an alternative for an office chair, a lighter less durable ball should do the job. However, if you are wanting to take your ball outside and maybe even incorporating some weight training into your routine, I would strongly suggest coughing up a little extra money for the peace of mind of knowing that you are going to be safe should you lay your ball down on something sharp, causing it to burst. A personal favorite of mine is the AOK Duraball Max.
One last tip
When using your Swiss ball for the first time, inflate it and let it sit for 24 hours. The rubber needs time to stretch and find its true form. It will seem kinda small at first but will most likely require a second inflation after this period of time. If you go and use it before this settling in period, you may end up with flat spots and your ball will end up looking like an egg.