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July 24, 2007

Pilates Ball Recommendation

Posted in: Beginners, Equipment, Small Pilates Props

Pilates balls are a great challenge and if you’re looking for a total body workout… well here it is, in all of its round glory. Thank goodness we aren’t what we exercise (round and stout.)

What to Know When Buying a Pilates Ball

There is one thing you need to know when ordering a pilates stability ball and that is which size to buy. Some brands come in two sizes: 65cm or 55cm and some come in three: 75cm, 65cm, and 55 cm.

The reason they come in different sizes is to accommodate the many different heights of people who participate in the pilates exercises. How thoughtful those ball makers are!

When you sit on a ball you are looking for two things:

  1. A 90 degree angle where your pelvis meets your thigh (looking at profile)
  2. A 90 degree angle behind your knees (looking at profile.)

If those angles are more or less than 90 degrees, then you need a different sized ball.

  • If your angles are less than 90 degrees, swap for a bigger size ball or inflate it more (if you can.)
  • If your angles are more than 90 degrees, swap for a smaller size ball or deflate it more (if you can without loosing the integrity of the ball.)

Pilates Ball Size Chart

I am 5′8″ and I use a 65cm ball and it works great!

  • If you are 5′6″ or under you will probably use a 55cm ball
  • If you are between 5′7″and 6′1″ I would recommend a 65cm ball
  • If you are above 6′1″ I would recommend a 75cm ball

These size balls, as you can see, accommodate many different heights. You will have to play around with inflation and deflation of the balls to get your 90 degree angles. Bon appetite! I mean… have fun!

Recommended Pilates Balls

Stott Pilates Balls

I like the Stott pilates balls and use them frequently. They are very durable, don’t really show dirt or dust, and easy to inflate. I really like the material of these balls as they seem the sturdiest, yet your skin won’t stick to these balls like some others.

The ball on the left (green) is the 65cm ball and the ball on the right (blue) is the 55cm ball.

Gaiam Pilates Balls

I also own Gaiam’s Pilates ball which I have had for several years. It is quite sturdy and does the job. Gaiam offers three sizes, so if you are above 6′1″ you would need a Gaiam ball.

The only down side to this ball is that it comes with a DVD. The DVD is okay, but I prefer the clarity of the Stott pilates stability ball DVD over the one Gaiam includes with the purchase of a ball.

All in all, they are both great balls. Stott’s ball is better material and quality and Gaiam’s ball has the option of a 75cm ball.

Want more information about starting pilates as exercise? See this article about how to get started with pilates.

Would you like more information about other small pilates equipment that is light and affordable? See these articles about the pilates ring, flex band, and foam roller.

Check out these recommendations of videos to correspond with the smaller pilates props.

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