Product Type: Argos sports equipment
Newest Review: ... £5 and I am still using it. I have misplaced the CD I bought with specific exercises on it, but thanks to the joy of the internet I have ... more
A Ball That Helps My Balance
Argos Value Gym Ball
Member Name: Vialdana
Argos Value Gym Ball
Advantages: Cheap, does the job its designed for well.
Disadvantages: If you're over 5'6" you may want to opt for a different one thats a bit larger.
The first gym ball I had was years ago, and it was brought to me by my physiotherapist who showed me a variety of exercises to do on it to assist me with balance issues and stability. Obviously when my course of physiotherapy ended she took the ball away and I had to buy my own. The ball I bought lasted me a few years, but eventually it got a puncture, and needed replacing, and it was this Argos version that I replaced it with.
The initial thing I'm going to say about this is that in my experience there is very little difference between brands with an exercise ball because a ball is a ball is a ball generally speaking. Slight difference in the thickness of the material it's made from perhaps, and a small variation in size (generally speaking, 55cm is recommended if you're 5'2"-5'6", 65cm if you're 5'6"-5'9" and 75cm if you're 5'9-6'4" tall - I'm 5'6ish so can use either the 55cm or 65cm size safely). There is also a little variation in the max weight they seem to suggest is ok for these too, but other than that, it's a matter of colour and branding choice generally I think. For me, what this means is as I don't give a monkeys about colour or brand for an exercise ball, this 55cm Argos one that costs just a fiver, suits me just fine and as it's suitable up to a little over 19 stone that's also plenty high enough for me.
There are two main uses for a gym ball - the first is as a piece of gym equipment - to use for doing exercises on designed to help you get fit - things like sit ups, squats etc. This is the most common use these days, but it's not what it was originally designed for.
The second use is as a physiotherapy aid - this was what these balls were originally designed for in the 60's and it is for this purpose that I have mine. The sort of exercises I do on this may not strike many of you as actual exercises - things such as sitting on it and rolling it back and forwards without falling off, or doing small circles on it again without falling off, or laying with my tummy across it and lifting left leg and right arm at the same time and vice-versa. However odd these may seem to some people, for helping me to keep my core balance stable it makes a big difference to me.
The Argos gym ball is a sort of dirty white colour and came with a pretty basic pump. As I already had a pump (of better quality) from my previous gym ball, I soon discarded this one as it wasn't as good (a little cheap and plastic feeling - but it worked fine). You pump the ball up (or get someone else to in my case), making sure not to over inflate it. Then use it daily or as planned. Initially I found this needed re-pumping every 2 or 3 goes, but now it's sort of bedded in as it were, it only needs an extra bit of air occasionally.
I don't use mine daily most of the time and find once or twice a week is plenty except when I've been ill or my Fibromyalgia has been bad, then I find it useful to use it a little more often for a while to help me get back the core strength that is so important for balance and wellbeing. I keep mine blown up and just throw it in the corner behind the sofa when not in use, but being something that is inflated it's easy enough to deflate it if you need space etc.
Overall, I'd say these are fabulous things to own, and this Argos one is just as good as many that are out there as long as its size is right for you. If you're taller than I am, I would suggest that this one might not suit you and you'd be better opting for a slightly larger one from somewhere else as it does make a difference when you use it if it's a bit too small or large for comfort.
Summary: A useful tool for helping me stay fitter and keeping my balance well.