Hands up if you remember medicine balls from your school days? Yes those horrible brown things that you could barely lift off the floor and yet were expected to my some over zealous PE freak of a teacher.
Well long before that these types of exercise balls existed. Today we just make them better looking, and we can even pick them up.
I would make a pretty good guess that every gym in the country will have a number of those, many homes in the UK will also have them. I also bet that if I opened a garage door, or climbed into a roof space, I might find a few there.
I know people buy these and may even use them a few times but then they slowly become discarded. Then they go through a moving process, getting removed from the house one room at a time.
It is a bit of a shame really because if people knew the best ball exercises to perform, then they might just stick with it a great deal longer and reap the benefits.
There are actually quite a few different types of these balls available, each designed to do a slightly different type of workout. They come in different sizes, weights and these days different colours.
Different Types of Exercise Balls
There are three different types and they can be used individually or together depending on what fitness type you are trying to achieve. They can also be used with dumb bells and bar bells. So let's have a closer look:-
- Stability Balls
- Medicine Balls
- BOSU Balls
Thankfully today these are used for some real fun exercises and their designs vary quite a lot. They are also relatively inexpensive starting at around £5, so most people will be able to afford to buy one of these. Below you can see three images of the various types of exercise ball available in the UK market.
By quite a long way the standard stability balls are the most popular and thankfully also the cheapest.
These remain the most popular and can be used for general fitness. They are pretty cheap but are good for sitting, or use in the office.
These are intended for tougher workouts like cross training and boxing. As you can imagine they are also heavy and more expensive than the stability balls.
These are popular for balance training and tougher workouts. They are also the most expensive options. That said, they are more versatile to use.
How To Use a Standard Exercise Ball?
In the video below you will see how to go about using your standard physio-ball. This video shows you a number of different exercise routines that give the body a really nice workout and will help keep you fit and healthy.
Top 3 Rated Exercise Balls in the UK Market
We have included below the top 3 exercise balls in our opinion. These are based on our own ratings. We have also included the average retail price. Just be aware that prices can change quickly. Always check any price before buying.
Gym Ball/ Exercise Ball
This is the best selling exercise ball in the UK market
Comes with a pump
Not the highest quality but cheap and cheerful
Average Price - £5-6
Fitness Swiss Ball (Recommended)
This is the highest rated ball by actual buyers
Comes with a pump
Very high quality and does not deflate durng use
Average price - £14-20
This is a brand name ball and comes with a workout DVD
Highly rated product
Designed for general fitness, back exercises and sit-ups
Average price - £13-20
As you can see these are not expensive and they will help a lot with doing some fun but effective exercises. Thousands of people use these every single day as part of their exercise routine. It is also a fun way of getting kids to join in and stay fit.
High End Top of the Range ABS Exercise Ball
If you have the money and can afford to buy the ball that will never burst, thenthe Togu power extreme is the perfect choice. This one costs just over £300, so clearly a ball that not many people will be able to afford.
That said when you register it online with Togu, then you get a 30 year warranty, and there is nothing out there as good as that.
This one is the best quality on the market and weighs around 5 Kg. What makes this one different from the rest is that it will nor deflate and will not burst, up to 1,000 Kgs of weight.
As you would expect for this type of price, you get the ball along with a training chart and full instructions.
How To Use a Medicine Ball?
I have also a video below that shows you how to make the best use out of a medicine ball....and no, it is not anything like what you had to do at school.
Top 3 Rated Medicine Balls in the UK Market
We have included below the top 3 medicine balls in our opinion. These are based on our own ratings. We have also included the average retail price. Just be aware that prices can change quickly. Always check any price before buying.
RDX Heavy Crossfit Medicine Ball Set
The best selling medicine ball set in the UK market
Made from soft cow hide
Includes weights, 5 Kg, 8 Kg, 10 kg and 12 Kg
Average Price - £20-25
Medicine Ball Crossfit MMA Body
The highest rated medicine ball in the UK market
Made from a solid rubber construction
Develops core strength
Average price - £20-25
Gold Coast Medicine Ball
Can be used at home or by gym owners
Textured cover for better gripping
Ideal for general strengthening, toning and injury rehab
Average price - £18-20
These are designed for those who want to improve strength training and for anyone into boxing or MMA type of fitness activity. As you can see from the video these are not for everyone and only for those who are trying to take their fitness to a very high level.
How to Use a BOSU ball?
In this video you can see a workout with a BOSU ball
Top 3 BOSU Exercise Balls
We have included below the top 3 BOSU style exercise balls in our opinion. These are based on our own ratings. We have also included the average retail price. Just be aware that prices can change quickly. Always check any price before buying.
Bosu® Balance Trainer - Home Model
Unique balance and core stability training device
Specifically designed for HOME USE only
Comes with a pump & DVD workouts
Average Price - £95-100
Medicarn Body Balance Ball
Body balance dome ball
Comes with a pump
Comes with instructions & DVD workouts
Average price - £70
PhysioRoom Balance Rehab Cushion
Combines the features of a gym ball, sitting cushion and wobble board
Comes with a pump
Easy to use and easy to store
Average price - £9-10
As you can see these are expensive options but they do bring something different to the world of fitness.
Hopefully that gives you a much better understanding of what is available in the UK market place.
Best Exercise Ball for the Office
Using an exercise ball in the office is a clever idea. Being able to work and do a bit of exercise is a good way of making the best use of your time. Many people will also use one of these at lunch time. The ideal one to use is we believe the standard stability ball. We covered that in the first section. These are cheap enough so as you can buy one for the home and one for the office.
Best Exercise Balls for Sitting
Many people like the idea of being able to do something regarding exercise, when they are in a sitting position. Again we would recommend for this the standard stability exercise ball. These are also ideal for ladies who may be pregnant.
The image to the right gives you an idea of the type of ball I mean. This suits sitting and those that work in an office style environment. With this you can work out your balance, stability, core and abs. The manufacturer also states that this is suitable for pre and post natal birthing exercises, and pregnancy therapy.