Thera-Band Exercise Balls

There have been many clever innovations produced in recent years that make use of simple ideas to provide us with exercise and rehabilitation options that can be utilized anywhere in our office or home. Thera-Band Exercise Balls are simple inflatable balls, available in a range of sizes, that can be used to help strengthen muscles required for better posture and as a way of preventing back pain. These balls are also commonly referred to as stability balls.

These balls can be utilized in a number of different ways in exercises designed to increase range of motion, strength and endurance. They may be used during yoga, pilates and aerobics and they can be helpful for stretching exercises.

Something that must be understood right from the start, when you buy a Thera-Band Exercise Ball it does not come with a pump. You must buy one separately to inflate your exercise ball – for convenience a very good pump made by Isokinetics has been displayed below.

Types of Thera-Band Exercise Balls

Thera-band Exercise Balls are available in 5 different sizes and have been color coded to help you determine which one you require. They are also available in two different models, the original Standard Exercise Balls and the newer Pro Series SCP Exercise Balls. The size/color combination is the same regardless of whether you use the Standard or SCP balls.

This handy color/size/body height chart has been provided above to give you a guide as to which exercise ball to buy.

Thera-Band Standard SDS Exercise Balls

These balls are the original inflatable balls that were first brought out by Thera-Band. These balls are made from durable PVC and have been described as having a Slow Deflation System (SDS) which means they will not burst if they are punctured. This is the original exercise ball that is easy to clean and able to be used indoors and outdoors.

These exercise balls come with two plugs and an inflation adaptor. You also get an Exercise Ball Guide Poster explaining 24 exercises.

The original SDS exercise balls are available for sale and can be bought slightly cheaper than the newer Pro Series balls.

Buy A Standard Thera-Band SDS Exercise Ball

Thera-Band Pro Series SCP Exercise Balls

The newer version of the Thera-Band Exercise Ball is the Pro Series SCP Exercise Ball and this features a thicker surface that provides a number of added benefits to the original. The Pro Series balls will provide even more support without feeling overly soft. The Pro Series balls provide increased elasticity which will improve performance as they want to bounce back into position. This reduces muscle fatigue as you are working out. The final improvement comes down to the safety of using the balls because they are even more burst resistant with slow deflation capabilities.

The Pro Series exercise balls come with two plugs, a plug puller an exercise guide poster and a measuring tape that contains color codes marked at 80% and 100% inflation positions to help you gauge when the ball is properly inflated.

Buy A Thera-Band Pro Series SCP Exercise Ball


Inflating the Thera-Band Exercise Balls

A lot of the negative comments hat have been noted about the Thera-Band Exercise Balls have been to do with claims that the balls do not inflate to their advertised size and that the balls were too soft to be useful. In just about all of these cases the problem has actually been that the correct inflation process was not followed.

The Thera-Band Exercise Ball comes with instructions but for your convenience here are some tips for the correct inflation methods.

  • The ball should start off at room temperature.
  • Use a two-way air pump, a manual pump or an air compressor to fill the ball. (Note: a bike pump is not going to provide the required air pressure).
  • Inflate the ball until it reaches the 80% filled mark. (The Pro Series Balls come with a measuring tape that will tell you the size of the ball when it is 80% inflated).
  • Leave the ball at this point for at least 24 hours.
  • Complete inflating the ball until it reaches the optimum inflation size.

If you are looking for a cheap but effective two-way air pump you might like to use the Isokinetics Exercise Ball Air Pump. This is a heavy duty pump capable of generating up to 14.5psi and it pumps on both the up and down stroke to make the process particularly quick. The pump stands 18″ tall and it is available in three different colors, black, gray and yellow.

Click here to get more details about this pump

Exercises Using the Thera-Band Exercise Balls

The Thera-Band Exercise Balls can be used in many different ways and will help with working your abs and strengthening the back. The following couple of videos provide demonstrations of a few simple exercises based around these balls.

This first demonstrates 3 exercises for the abs.

The next is a longer video that covers 10 more exercises.

Regardless of whether you need to perform balance, strengthening or core exercises there are a number of different ways in which the various balls may be put to use.

A simple process of kneeling on top of the ball will give you a good balance test. As a variation you can shift your weight from the knees and slowly move it back to the shins. This may need to be performed by leaning against a wall as you become accustomed to the process. When you become more proficient your might be able to perform the balancing process with your arms held at your sides.
Core exercises are going to work the abdominal and back muscles. The plank exercises where you place your feet on the ball and walk slowly out on your hands until you are only supported by the ball with your hands directly beneath your shoulders is a great starting point. There are numerous variations such as push-ups, walking backwards until the ball is under the knees and then walking forward again until the ball reaches the shins.

The exercise ball may be used as part of your strength program by placing the ball against the wall and leaning back into it until it sits in the small of your back. Lowering yourself until the thighs are parallel to the floor and then rolling back up is a simple but effective exercise.

Thera-Band is also responsible for more products that are trusted by doctors and physiotherapists for treatment of injuries and chronic conditions. Take a look at the comprehensive review of the Thera-Band FlexBar.

One Response to “Thera-Band Exercise Balls”

  1. exercise balls Says:

    As a physical therapist what I appreciate about the exercise ball is the ease with which patients can feel the movement of the pelvis as they sit on the ball and move back and forth. After learning this they are then able to find the neutral position of the spine which is key for doing lumbar stabilization exercises in other positions. Sitting on the ball is also a great way to teach proper seated posture. As you are forced to maintain balance it is natural to sit up straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor, restoring the natural curve in the lumbar spine. So, in addition to all the marvelous exercises that can be done with the ball, just sitting on it has tremendous benefits as well.

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