Not all ball are created equal
The essential things you need to know about Swiss Balls, stability balls, fitness balls
Advertising throws out all kinds of terms when talking about exercise balls. While the language may vary slightly, it is important to understand the concept of weight rating, burst resistance and burst proof.
Weight Rating (Static Weight Rating)
This term relates to the MAXIMUM STATIC LOAD that the ball can support. Essentially, this means you inflate a ball and put it in a hydraulic press until it flattens out or pops. This test will indicated the static weight the ball can handle without loosing functionality. This is a good number to know, but it isn’t the MOST important number (we will talk about that in a second).
Burst Proof Rating (Dynamic Load Rating)
This is the most important number because it’s the one that has the biggest impact on your safety. It’s also the rating that sets top quality balls apart from the “cheap” ones that are out there.
Burst PROOF Rating means that up to the posted DLR, your ball is guaranteed (within proper care and inflation guidelines), to NOT explode when punctured instead deflates slowly.
For example the LOAD rating on the Swiss Pro Ball is 2000 pounds and the BURST PROOF rating is 500lb, the ball will be able to sustain approximately 2000lb before flattening or popping like a balloon, between 500 – 2000lb, the ball can handle the pressure, but will still pop like a balloon if the integrity is breached (i.e. it gets punctured by a thumbtack, staple or other sharp object.
However, UNDER 500lb of load, the ball will deflate slowly (and safer) if punctured.
Be sure to check the LEVEL of this rating. Many balls will have a high load rating, but a relatively low burst rating.
One more thing to consider is inertia/momentum. If you are moving, the load you generate is greater than just sitting still. Visualize doing a small bounce on the ball…if you are 150 pounds, the force you generate on the ball at the bottom of your bounce will be MUCH greater than your actual weight. Because of this, you DO NOT want to be at the limit of the burst rating for your ball. It makes sense to have a substantial safety “cushion” in terms of available DLR
This term is purely marketing. EVERY ball is “Burst Resistant” in that the material is resisting the pressure inside the ball. Without a quantifiable number attached to the “burst resistant” term, it is absolutely useless.
When to use the Swiss Ball versus the Swiss Pro Ball?
Stretching, yoga, Pilates, ab work, and many other body weight exercises will require LESS stringent burst proof ratings than more intense activities.
If you are using your ball as a chair, staple, paperclips, thumb tacks, and many other potential puncture dangers lurk in an office environment, so having a higher DLR ball will give you the peace of mind that you won’t end up on your butt in a split second if you roll over an errant staple or hit the edge of your metal filing cabinet!
If your body weight is near the burst proof limit of 300lbs you at risk and should consider the Swiss Pro Ball instead.
Even if you are a beginner to resistance training, you are strongly advised to get our Swiss Pro ball. This top Swiss Pro balls is rated for static loads of 2,000 kilograms with burst-proof to a load of 500 kg.
This does not mean the balls are puncture proof, but will help protect you from having the ball pop like a balloon (explosive deflation as one manufacturer describes it). Burst proof means that the balls are designed to slowly deflate if accidentally punctured.
Theragear is the manufacturer of the Swiss Exercise Ball and Swiss Pro Ball.
By having an ongoing Quality program in place we reduces the risk of ball failure. We pre-inflate and inspect every ball made and have achieved exceptionally low numbers of faulty balls. Over the past 5 years we have had a return rate of less than 0.3%.
Please watch our video below that demonstrates the load and durability of our Swiss Exercise Balls.
In the video we used a 65cm Swiss Exercise Ball.