We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Swiss Ball?

By Matthew F.
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports&Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports&Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A Swiss ball is a large, inflatable exercise ball. Originating in the 1960s, the Swiss ball is used for a number of therapy, fitness, and exercise routines. It can be sat on, laid on, leaned against, or held between the arms and legs to offer different levels of resistance and balance training. It is popular among elite athletes at professional levels and the everyday beginner alike. Developed in the early 1960s, the ball is also known by many different names, including the yoga ball, Pilates ball, balance ball, birth ball, and stability ball.

Swiss balls are a large size for exercise equipment, usually between 18 and 30 inches (45 to 75 cm). They are highly durable and can support the weight of most average size adults, and usually can exceed 200 pounds of support. Swiss balls are popular because they are inexpensive, safe, simple, and offer a variety of exercises. The Swiss ball can be combined with many existing exercises and weight lifting practices, as well as a variety of new exercises developed for the ball, to complete a full workout.

The Swiss ball is most notably used for balancing and core strength and conditioning. It is among the top fitness tools in the world. The instability of the round ball forces the user to constantly adjust their balance, enforcing stability and flexibility. The user can lie or sit on the ball to increase the difficulty and muscle isolation of lifts while using free weights. It works the back and abdominal muscles simultaneously during crunches or sit ups. It can also be held with the arms or legs for a number of stretching and lifting exercises.

Many trainers argue that the Swiss ball places too much emphasis on the core muscles, and neglects other muscles. They say that overuse of the Swiss ball can lead to a weakened upper body and lack of development in the lower body muscles. These lower bodies muscles fail to offer the explosiveness necessary for many sports.

The Swiss ball has also been used as a “birth ball.” During labor, the pregnant woman can sit on the ball, with arms balanced on a nearby table or bed. The rolling movement of the ball aids in the natural rocking process of the birth.

The Swiss ball was developed in the early 1960s in Italy by Aquilino Cosani. Coasani was a plastics manufacturer who found a way to make very large, puncture resistant balls made of cheap plastic. The balls soon found popular use in Switzerland among chiropractics and physical therapists. It was used to treat orthopedic problems and assist with rehabilitation. The Swiss ball found its way to the United States in the early 1980s as a therapy tool, and soon moved to gyms and athletic facilities, where it has remained ever since.

Sports&Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Sports&Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports&Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.