How to improve your riding skills

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How to choose gym balls

Hi, it's Asami Sugita here, your gym ball instructor.

Gym balls are not only a great tool for exercising at home, but are also a very useful tool for improving your horse riding skills.

(I used to work as a child minder and it also works well to get babies to sleep actually :-) )

You may consider purchasing one for yourself once you tried one somewhere.

You may have tried one elsewhere, or just be considering purchasing one for yourself, but with the variety of gym balls in the market it is difficult to know which one is the most suitable for you. I hope that this the best gym ball for you!

☆ 3 things to remember ☆

① Choose your ball size according to your height

*Under 130 cm → 30 cm diameter (suitable for elementary school children)

* Under 150 cm → 45cm diameter (suitable for primary school children)

* 150 cm - 170 cm → 55 cm diameter (suitable for adults of average height)

* Above 170 cm → 65 cm diameter (suitable for taller than average adults)

After you have purchased a ball of an appropriate size, you can make fine adjustments by changing the air pressure. Sit on the gym ball and your thighs and the floor should be parallel if the ball is at the right height.

☆ 3 things to remember ☆

② Choose an anti-burst gym ball!

You will be bouncing on your gym ball, so it is important to choose a safe one! Safer balls will also last longer. Typically, cheaper balls will be very thin.

I use GYMNIC gym balls, which costs around 5,000 yen. I also use the GYMNIC gym balls in my lessons and my students find them surprisingly resilient.

If the gym ball is too soft, your body will sink too low and the effects of the exercise will be diminished.

Buying an anti-burst gym ball doesn’t mean that it will never rupture, but if it does, it will slowly shrink down rather than bursting. This can prevent injury, so you should check that your ball is anti-burst compliant.

Take care with heaters during the winter if you use a gym ball in the house.

If the ball gets too close to the heater, you can get bumps on the ball and it can become deformed.

So be careful! (I’ve been there, done that!)

☆ 3 things to remember ☆

③ Check if a pump is included in the package!

Gym balls need to be inflated with a manual pump. Personally, I keep the ball inflated at home so that I can use it when I want.

Once you put inflate the ball, you won’t need to reinflate it too often. nevertheless, it might still be handy to have your own air pump in order to adjust the size of the ball appropriately.

I recommend the ‘double action’ pump which is a hassle free pump! The pump pumps out air through both a pushing and pulling action so it’s much quicker to inflate.

☆ 3 things to remember ☆

Above are my air pumps ♪
Brightly coloured pumps will make your exercise time happy♡

As I’ve mentioned above, my personal recommendation is the GYMNIC gym balls which covers all of those check points.

They are very safe to use and I’ve never had any problems with them at home or in my lessons.

What is GYMNIC?

What is GYMNIC?

What is GYMNIC? GYMNIC is a product name which is manufactured by an Italian company, Ledraplastic. (The product name GYMNIC is more commonly used in Japan)

I am satisfied with their internationally recognised safety standards, and explosion prevention function (BRQ system). Their balls are even able to withstand a load of 1 ton+ pressure by a machine (wow ... !!)

Among the many gym ball manufactures, they have the longest history and a good, solid reputation.

They also offer a variety of different gym balls. I have used a number of them for myself and my students and we’ve never had any issues with these balls, or had any burst so far. They can withstand weights of up to 300 kilograms, meaning that everyone can enjoy aerobic exercise with them.

I usually use a balance ball of 55 cm in size, but I exercise with different sizes.

Some people find it is easier to exercise with smaller sizes, or they have simply bought smaller balls for their children and would like to use the same ball. This can also be effective, so below I have included some exercises you can try with smaller balls.

The exercise below is an easy exercise that is especially effective to tighten the inner thigh, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control!

What is GYMNIC?

☆ An exercise using 30cm GYMNIC gym ball ☆

☆ An exercise using 30cm GYMNIC gym ball ☆

①Place a 30-centimeter gym ball between your knees

② Squeeze the ball for 10 seconds × 3 sets

Check if your muscle is tensed when you are squeezing a ball.

(Once you have got used to the exercise, you can slowly increase the number of seconds and the number of sets)

If you can exercise with another person, the other person can pull the ball whilst the first person is squeezing it. Doing this will make the exercise harder more effective!

This is one of the most popular exercise in my class. You can make it a competition and you can make exercise more enjoyable!

☆ An exercise using 30cm GYMNIC gym ball ☆


Gym ball instructor, ex child minder

Based in Saitama area, she organises gym ball exercise sessions.

She puts a great emphasis on the 'good feeling' after exercise, particularly using gym balls.

Based on her own experiences, she is aiming to write about how the body and mind are connected, how she sees the world in everyday life and how women can live more freely.

Read her blog here: