After consulting a professional, if you should decide to use an exercise ball, you must assume certain safety risks. Even “burst-proof” balls can burst. Even if yours doesn’t, you may fall off the ball. For these reasons, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends inspecting a ball for signs of wear before each use, using it only indoors, and clearing the surrounding area of objects you might hit were you to fall. For added safety and stability, the ACSM recommends placing a mat in front of the ball or positioning a sturdy chair next to it, to soften falls or to prevent a ball from rolling out from under you.
“Physical therapists and individuals at fitness centers who are certified in exercise ball techniques are by far the best to provide initial instructions for use of and safety with a ball,” said New York University professor Marilyn Moffat.
You should clean an exercise ball only with water and mild soap (other cleaning products may damage the material), and store it indoors out of direct sunlight. Sun exposure, which can similarly damage the material, “is a big no-no,” said Tamani George, director of operations at Fit for Life, which sells SPRI- and Gaiam-brand equipment, including exercise balls.
“Storing the ball in a proper space so it’s not sitting in the sun where it is exposed to heat or humidity―all those things are going to impact the durability and the safety of the ball,” said Grace DeSimone, a New York–based personal trainer and group exercise expert.
Keep exercise balls away from pets. Two Wirecutter staff members reported that cats destroyed balls they owned. Dozens of customer reviews relay similar experiences with both dogs and cats. That is cute if you want a Youtube video but not for your workout!