5 Best Exercise Balls For Heavy People


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best exercise balls for heavy people

Exercise balls are one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment you can find! Unlike other types of exercise, they really test your smaller stability muscles, along with all your larger muscles too, which makes them great for general fitness.

This is especially valuable for bigger folks like me as it’s those smaller muscles that can really give me problems and I’m not trying to get that fat girl waddle-walk!

Even though I love my exercise ball now, it took some convincing for me to use one. I wasn’t worried about learning new exercises but I was very worried about bursting the thing! I’m already used to thinking about the weight capacity of anything I use so I wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance to lay down on what looks like a glorified balloon.

But once you know where to look, you can easily find exercise balls with weight capacities of more than 2,000 pounds which means people of any size will be able to find what they need. Still, there’s more than just weight capacity to consider and I’ll explain everything bigger folks need to look for in an exercise ball but if you just want to skip ahead and see my favorites you can check them out here:

  1. Best Overall: Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball With 2,200 LBS Weight Capacity
  2. Best On A Budget: ProBody Pilates Exercise Ball
  3. Best Yoga Ball For Sitting: Mind Body Future Yoga Ball With Stability Ring
  4. Most Color Choices: URBNFit Exercise Ball
  5. Best Complete Workout Set: Mantra Sports Body Ball With Resistance Bands

Before we dive into everything you need to know, let’s clear up some terminology.

An Exercise Ball By Any Other Name…Is Still An Exercise Ball

There are a lot of names for exercise balls but despite all the different names, they’re actually pretty much the same. The biggest difference is simply how the ball is used and it might be called a birth ball when it’s used during labor or a stability ball when it’s used for specific exercises…but at the end of the day, it’s still an exercise ball.

You might also see it called a balance ball, fitness ball, gym ball, physio ball, pilates ball, therapy ball, stability ball, or therapy ball. These are all the same thing and many brands will try to call exercise balls different things to make sure they get all the most important terms in the product listing.

For the most part, we’ll be referring to these as exercise balls but don’t get confused and remember that these are all describing the same thing.

What Should Heavier People Consider When Picking Out An Exercise Ball?

Everything takes a little more effort to find when you’re bigger- whether that’s finding an exercise bike, a treadmill, or just finding a pair of jeans that fit bigger legs and it’s no different when it comes to exercise balls so let’s break down what you need to look for.

Weight Capacity

The first thing I’m looking at, whether we’re talking about a chair or an exercise ball, is weight capacity.

And usually, it’s the limiting factor for me.

But something crazy good is going on in the world of exercise balls and I’m happy to tell you that there are plenty of options with a weight capacity of more than 1,000 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. These exercise balls are going to be higher quality (which means a higher price tag) compared to exercise balls you’d find at big box stores where a weight capacity of 300 pounds or less is the norm.

It’s well worth the extra dough to keep yourself safe and not have to worry about a bursting exercise ball while you’re working out. We can thank modern technology for these high weight capacities and a combination of strong materials and engineering has been able to greatly increase the weight capacity of an exercise ball.

However, it’s still worth pointing out that there’s a big difference between your weight while sitting and your weight while exercising on a stability ball. A bigger person can easily generate a thousand pounds of force with the right movements and it should go without saying that jumping with your full weight on a ball is still a no-go.

But a couple thousand pounds is still plenty as long as you’re not doing anything crazy and you won’t find any exercise balls on this list that have less than a 600 pound weight capacity.

Find A Diameter To Match Your Height

When I first started researching exercise balls I assumed that as a heavier person I was going to need an exercise ball with a larger diameter to support the extra weight and I know I’m not the only plus-size person that’s made this mistake.

But if your exercise ball is too big, it’s not only difficult to use but can actually be dangerous since it’s easier to fall off. On top of that, the increased diameter doesn’t even change the weight capacity- at least when it comes to higher-quality exercise balls.

Instead, the only thing you need to consider when it comes to diameter is your height- not your weight. You want to find an exercise ball that allows you to sit on it with a 90-degree leg angle. That can be hard to figure out when you’re looking at an exercise ball online so you can use this chart to find the right diameter:

Your Height Recommend Ball
Diameter
5′ and below 45 cm
5′ to 5’4″ 55 cm
5′ 5″ to 5′ 11″ 65 cm
6′ to 6’4″ 75 cm
6’5″ and above 85 cm

Even though it’s tempting to go with a larger ball, make sure you stay within these ranges for a better exercise ball experience.

Burst Resistance Is A Must

Burst resistance (sometimes called anti-burst) isn’t just a marketing tactic and it refers to a specific type of design that causes exercise balls to deflate more slowly instead of exploding or bursting. Different brands will take a different approach to anti-burst but it usually uses some kind of compartmentalization that allows the exercise ball to deflate in sections instead of all at once.

Of course, any kind of deflation can be dangerous but a slower deflation is going to be much safer than an outright burst and you can see what this looks like in the video below:

It’s also worth pointing out that the exercise ball in the video handled more than 2,000 pounds of pressure before giving out and there was no bursting involved.

That makes anti-burst technology an absolute requirement and you’ll only find anti-burst exercise balls on this list.

Ease of Inflation (and Deflation)

Luckily, the days of blowing up just about anything with just your mouth are gone and most quality products, including exercise balls, will come with a pump that allows you to easily inflate. The best and easiest option for most folks are foot pumps which don’t take a whole lot of effort to use.

Hand pumps are also a good option but will take a little more work and you may need to take a few breaks or switch arms before you’re finished.

We’ll be focusing only on exercise balls with some kind of pump included so no matter what you go with on this list you don’t have to worry about passing out as you vigorously breathe into your exercise ball.

While less common, some folks will also want to deflate their exercise ball and be able to take it on the go. Most exercise balls aren’t built with deflation in mind but the process is still pretty simple across most brands. If you’re someone that wants to deflate your exercise ball, you’ll want to go for a foot pump since it will make it much easier to reinflate once you get where you’re going.

The last thing to remember is that any exercise ball will need to be reinflated from time to time. Just as a balloon slowly releases air over time, your exercise ball will very slowly release air as you use it and even just it sits. As a result, you should expect to give your exercise ball the occasional top off so keep this in mind when you decide on a pump.

Best Exercise Balls For Plus Size People

Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for, let’s get into the reviews starting with the best overall.

Best Overall: Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball With 2,200 LBS Weight Capacity

Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball Exercise Ball, 5 Sizes Ball Chair, Heavy Duty Swiss Ball for Balance,...
20,665 Reviews
Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball Exercise Ball, 5 Sizes Ball Chair, Heavy Duty Swiss Ball for Balance,...

  • 2,200 pound weight capacity for extra peace of mind
  • Available in sizes starting at 45cm and going up to 85cm which means tall and heavy people can find what they need
  • More than 15,000 five star reviews on Amazon
  • Great pricing especially when you consider the high quality

When we pick the best overall exercise ball, we want it to be something that 95% of the plus size population can use without having to make any major compromises…and that’s exactly what we have with this durable and affordable exercise ball from Trideer.

To start with, there’s a weight capacity of 2,200 pounds which is more than enough for most people of size. Unless your exercise routine includes jumping off your bed and belly-flopping onto your exercise ball (something I can’t recommend) then you shouldn’t need to worry about pushing the weight capacity here and the two-ton weight capacity will be plenty.

On top of the high weight capacity, this exercise ball is made with anti-burst technology by using a honeycomb design which helps distribute weight and prevent bursting. While the engineering behind it is interesting, more importantly, it gives you additional peace of mind when using this stability ball.

This exercise ball is also available in sizes ranging from 45cm to 85cm which is above and beyond most brands that stop at the 75cm size so even the tallest people can find the right size.

Additionally, Trideer includes a foot pump which makes the inflation process faster and easier when compared to a hand pump. Even if you aren’t traveling around with this exercise ball, being able to use it right away and with less effort is always a good thing.

The biggest downside to this exercise ball is that it does have a bit of a chemical smell when you first start using it. The material is latex-free PVC  but it seems that something about the packaging process really locks in the smell. If you have a smaller space, it might be a good idea to air this out on the porch or by a window for a few hours but my husband wasn’t bothered by the smell as much as I was and just got right to his crunches.

It also helps that there are more than 15,000 five-star reviews backing up this exercise ball including some from heavy folks and plus size people. You can read some of those reviews, check out all 5 colors, and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Best On A Budget: ProBody Pilates Exercise Ball

ProBody Pilates Ball Exercise Ball Yoga Ball, Multiple Sizes Stability Ball Chair, Gym Grade...
8,156 Reviews
ProBody Pilates Ball Exercise Ball Yoga Ball, Multiple Sizes Stability Ball Chair, Gym Grade...

  • Variable weight capacity based on diameter but still features a powerful anti-burst design
  • Available up to an 85cm diameter so taller people can still find the right size
  • 9 different color choices with something for everyone
  • More than 6,000 five star reviews on Amazon
  • Easy on the budget

Even though exercise balls are far from the priciest pieces of exercise equipment, that doesn’t mean you can’t try to save a few bucks still and this exercise ball comes with a high weight capacity, plenty of colors, and more than 6,000 positive reviews. It also comes with an extremely competitive price tag regardless of the size you choose.

However, even though it is burst resistant, this exercise ball doesn’t have quite the massive weight rating that our best overall did. Instead, the weight capacity will depend on the diameter of the ball you select. The 55cm exercise ball can support between 660 and 880 pounds while the larger 65cm can handle between 990 and 1210.

It’s a bit unusual to see a weight range instead of simply a high-end number and that’s probably the biggest downside here. If you’re heavy but still under 300 pounds, this shouldn’t be a problem. Even more so if you’re taller and can go for a larger diameter exercise ball. But if you’re especially short and plus size, you may be better off spending more and going for an exercise ball with a higher weight capacity.

While the somewhat vague weight capacity ratings are a downside, it helps that there are more than 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon including some from heavier folks.

It’s also worth noting that this exercise ball comes with a hand pump rather than a foot pump. It’s still easy enough to pump but it’s tough to beat foot pumps for pure ease of use. However, these are the kind of small adjustments you should expect from a budget-friendly option.

You can take a closer look at all the colors, read more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Best Yoga Ball For Sitting: Mind Body Future Yoga Ball With Stability Ring

Exercise Ball Chair - Yoga Ball & Stability Ring. For Pregnancy, Balance, Pilates or Birthing...
3,055 Reviews
Exercise Ball Chair - Yoga Ball & Stability Ring. For Pregnancy, Balance, Pilates or Birthing...

  • Weight capacity of 2,000 pounds for stress-free sitting
  • Comes with a stability ring to keep the yoga ball in place while you're sitting
  • Includes foot pump for super easy inflation
  • Three options for heavy folks of all heights

There’s a reason exercise balls go by so many different names: they have so many different uses. But one of the most popular uses for yoga balls is as a chair. While you probably wouldn’t want it to be your only chair, having the option to open up your hips and roll around on an exercise ball can be a great way to keep your muscles active throughout the day.

But the big fear, especially if you’re a person of size, is that the ball is going roll out from under you and leave you on your butt. That’s where stability rings come into the picture. These little rings can help you notice when you’ve drifted and can also prevent slips. However, the stability rings aren’t designed to resist large forces so don’t expect a stability ring to completely prevent the risk of rolling but it can help mitigate it.

A stability ring is also nice when it comes to storage and the ring will keep the exercise ball from rolling away out of the corner.

There are a lot of yoga balls with stability rings out there but most only come with a diameter of 65cm. However, this yoga ball from Mind Body Future comes in sizes ranging from 55cm to 75cm so heavier folks of all heights can find the right size for them and that’s also why I picked this particular yoga ball for this list.

I also love the foot pump which makes inflating both the stability ball and the stability ring easy. It should go without saying that sitting on a yoga ball all day will release some air so a foot pump can be very handy when you need a quick top off.

You can check out more reviews, take a closer look at the stability ring and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Most Color Choices: URBNFit Exercise Ball

URBNFIT Exercise Ball - Yoga Ball in Multiple Sizes for Workout, Pregnancy, Stability -...
36,328 Reviews
URBNFIT Exercise Ball - Yoga Ball in Multiple Sizes for Workout, Pregnancy, Stability -...

  • 600 pounds of weight capacity which is enough for most plus size people
  • 10 color choices and 5 sizes to pick from
  • More than 27,000 five star reviews...which is A LOT
  • Affordable pricing even on the larger sizes

When it comes to colors, some of the exercise balls we’ve looked at so far have been a little…bland. Sure, blacks and blues are great for the office but you might want to show off your style with colors like teal, lime green, bright pink, and even peach.

That’s where this sturdy, durable, and stylish exercise ball from URBNFit enters the picture.

It has the same PVC material and anti-burst design that we’ve seen in other fat-friendly exercise balls but it also includes 10 colors that you’re not going to find in many other places. Even better, you can also choose from the full range of diameters starting at 45cm and going up to 85cm.

That means you tall folks aren’t going to get left out when it comes time to pick your favorite color!

The only possible downside is that this exercise ball comes with a hand pump instead of a foot pump. For a lot of people, that won’t change a thing but if you have arthritis in your hands or any other limitation that could be less-than-ideal.

I’m also far from the only person that’s impressed with this exercise ball and it has more than 27,000 five star reviews which is honestly pretty crazy. As you’d expect, many of them are from heavy and plus size reviewers.

Even though this exercise ball doesn’t have the 2,000-pound weight capacity that we’ve seen in some others on this list, the 600-pound capacity is plenty for most heavy folks. As long as you’re not doing anything crazy on your exercise ball, most people won’t have a problem and there are plenty of people that are well above 250 pounds who are vouching for this exercise ball in the reviews.

So not only do you get a wide range of choices between colors and size, but you also get a durable and high-weight capacity exercise ball that can actually support people of size.

You can check out all the reviews, see all 10 colors and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Best Complete Workout Set: Mantra Sports Body Ball With Resistance Bands

Exercise Ball Chair, Yoga Ball Chair With Resistance Bands, Stability Base & Poster. Balance Ball...
7,748 Reviews
Exercise Ball Chair, Yoga Ball Chair With Resistance Bands, Stability Base & Poster. Balance Ball...

  • 650-pound weight capacity for the 65cm diameter and 750-pound weight capacity for the 75cm diameter
  • Comes with a stability ring and attachable resistance bands which allows you to complete a wide range of different exercises
  • Foot pump for easy inflation
  • More than 5,000 five star reviews on Amazon

When it comes to working out with an exercise ball, there’s a lot more than just stretches and crunches. With the addition of resistance bands and a stability ring, this exercise ball introduces an almost endless number of ways to work out. Additionally, the stability ring also makes this a good option for just sitting when you’re not using this exercise ball to work out.

While they are missing the 45cm size, which is best for people 5′ and below, Mantra Sports does include 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm which will cover most heights.

When it comes to weight capacity, the tested weight will depend on the exercise ball diameter but with a 650-pound weight capacity for the 65cm exercise ball there is a lot of wiggle room for people of size. There’s even more wiggle room when you consider that thanks to the resistance bands you don’t need to use free weights and the addition of heavy free weights has led to a lot of broken balance balls.

The resistance bands are reasonably difficult in terms of resistance but they’re definitely intended for toning and lighter workouts rather than for building raw strength. So if you’re a super strong fat guy that wants to get even stronger, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you’re just looking for extra resistance, the bands will be more than enough.

The other thing I love about this brand is that they’re very active in the “Customer questions & answers” section of Amazon. That might not seem like a big deal but after reading thousands of reviews I’ve seen a clear connection between companies that are active in the Q&A section and companies that provide exceptional customer support.

So it was no surprise to me when I saw that there were dozens of reviews mentioning the quality customer service they received from Mantra Sports when they did encounter a problem. Of course, the best case scenario is to not have a problem but if you do, it’s good to know that someone will be there to help.

Finally, I love that there’s a foot pump for easy inflation. If you’re regularly working on this (or any) exercise ball, you can expect faster air leakage and a foot pump makes it easy to top off your exercise ball now and again.

You can take a closer look at everything that comes in this set, read more reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Closing Thoughts

That’s it!

We’ve covered a lot of information and it turns out there’s actually quite a bit to consider when it comes to picking out the perfect balance ball. While you can just take one look at some exercise balls and tell that they’re not going to hold much weight, it takes a little research to really figure out which ones have a really high weight capacity.

Hopefully, I’ve saved you a few hours of research by putting everything together for you!

What do you think? Did you find the exercise ball you were looking for?

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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