Faulty Stability Balls Have Been Blamed for 47 Fractures and Bruises

POP! Goes the Stability Ball!  Crash Goes the Client.

Dangerous_Stability_ExerciseIf you have any of your clients using a stability ball at home or at work, you need to check if their stability ball has been recalled.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent out a recall of over 3,000,000 stability balls.  These stability balls were made by EB Brands and were under the brand names of Bally Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo and Body Fit Fitness Balls.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has had 47 complaints of people that have received fractures or bruises from using their stability.

If you go to the website of the manufacture of stability balls in questions, they report that reason why stability balls have been exploding is:

People have been over inflating them.

As a fitness professional, have you ever been asked by your manager or members to inflate the stability balls because they feel a little flat even through they are the specified height?

Next time, let them know that in the USA, people have fractured bones or bruised themselves when they have over inflate a stability ball.

I know with lower end stability balls they don’t hold their shape and sink.  They feel soft.  People want them to feel firm again so they pump them up but this affects the stability ball’s safety.

I have had experience with stability balls bursting on me.  I had one spontaneously burst at a facility I was working at.  It popped in half like a balloon.  Luckily, it was not in use and in the corner.

The second time a stability ball popped on me, I was teaching my Advance Core Stability course and had the stability ball that I was using puncture.  I was wondering why the exercise was getting easier and easier.  I figured out there was a hole in the ball and I had slow and gradually ride on the ball to the floor.  It was an anti-burst stability ball so it slowly leaked, compared to exploding.

If you look at the US Consumer Product Safety Commission press release on the exploding stability balls, they recommend that you go and download updated instructions on how to safely inflate a stability ball.  It was Saturday night so I was into reading stability ball warnings.

3 Tips to Prevent a Stability Ball from EXPLODING on You


There were a few recommendations on how to safely exercise on a stability ball that stood out:

1)  The ball should not hold more than 330 lbs./150 kgs. of weight.

This is always an interesting fact.  If you do any dynamic exercises or bouncing exercises with the stability ball, it is easy to get over 330 lbs of force.

2)  It is NOT recommended to use additional weights while performing exercises using this ball. Extra weights could potentially cause the user to exceed the maximum weight.

How many of us have got clients to use dumbbells on a stability ball.

3)  DO NOT inflate your exercise ball when the room temperature where you will use the ball is greater than 90° F/32° C OR less than 65° F/18° C.

This is an interesting one.  When are the most fitness equipment stores busy?  In the winter.  Do people or gyms keep their houses or facilities at these temperatures?

There were a lot more to the manufacture’s instructors but those were the ones that stood out.

The crazy thing is, I checked with Consumer Product Safety Division of Health Canada and found no warming or voluntary recall.  The boxes look very similar to stability balls I have seen at Winners and Zellers.

I want to hear your story about exploding stability balls.  Leave your story in the comment section.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you get clients to sit on a stability ball at work, you should read my article on Why Never to Use a Stability Ball As a Chair.

P.S.S. – If you are looking for some safe stability ball exercises, check out Your Stability Ball Exercise Guide

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Rick! Fortunately, we have always kept our stability balls slightly under inflated at my facility and always purchase the anti-burst stability balls, because of this previous experience: Many years ago when I was working as a mobile trainer, a client of mine purchased a cheap stability ball from a local “low cost” department store. She had pumped it up to the maximum. She was excited to show me her new piece of equipment, sat down and started bouncing on it. I had seen these cheaper stability balls before and could tell by the material it was just really cheap and didn’t trust it. I asked her to put it aside until I take a better look at it, but when she rolled her ball out of the way it popped like a balloon! Thankfully, no one was hurt. Needless to say she never bought exercise equipment from the “low cost” department stores again! It goes to show, you get what you pay for!

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  2. Hi Rick,

    I also have seen a “cheap” stability ball burst while a client was bouncing on it. Luckily she was not hurt but she did hit the ground very hard.
    I have been teaching ball classes for 10 years now and have never seen a high quality antiburst ball explode. As you have experienced, the good balls just quietly and slowly loose air.
    I advise all my clients to spend the extra and buy a good quality ball. Not only are they safer, they also last much longer!

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