Can an Exercise Ball Replace a Weight Bench?


The lightweight exercise ball provides heavy support for your resistance-training workouts. Replace a weight bench with a stability ball as your base during strength training to also improve your core strength, balance and coordination. Plus, the ball costs less than a weight bench, for an affordable at-home exercise option. With proper use, the ball is a safe training option to add variety to your routine.

Ball Selection

  • A proper-sized exercise ball reduces injuries. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines and select the ball size based on your height. When the guidelines are not available, select the ball size based on proper fit. To do this, sit on top of the ball with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. If the angles of your knees and hips are both at 90 degrees, you have the right sized ball. The ball is too small if your knees and hips bend beyond a 90-degree angle. The ball is too large if your knees and hips barely have an angle to them.


  • When you replace your weight bench with an exercise ball, you increase the challenge of your workout. The unstable surface of the ball encourages your core to contract to keep you upright and from falling off the ball. Use proper posture to aid in your stabilization. Tighten your abdominals by pulling your navel toward your spine. Keep your back straight and sit tall.


  • The exercise ball easily takes the place of a weight bench for dumbbell exercises such as chest presses, shoulder presses and overhead triceps extensions. You can also perform medicine ball exercises such as torso rotations and overhead presses from atop your stability ball. Or, instead of sitting on a weight bench for resistance-band exercises such as leg extensions, sit on the ball for the additional balance challenge.


  • Each exercise ball manufacturer has a different maximum weight limit for the fitness tool. Remember to add together your body weight, plus the weight you lift to determine if you fall within the maximum weight amounts. Use a lighter resistance amount and higher repetitions during your training to avoid any equipment malfunction from too much weight on the ball.


  • Photo Credit Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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