I've owned exercise balls before (stupidly not bringing one with me when I moved) and have done physical therapy twice, so I'm very familiar with them, and know what to expect.
The Gold's Gym "StayBall" gets its name from the fact it has maybe a pound or so of sand inside. This makes the ball stay in place better than ordinary exercise balls, which is a good thing, since they all have heavy spots, and don't like to stay in place when put down. This one will. They further claim that this increases "muscle activation" by 50% or something like that, but I doubt that. No matter. It's a good, tough ball, and it doesn't have the annoying habit of wandering off by itself. So far, so good.
The downside to the sand -- and the way I know it's sand inside -- is because there's also a certain amount of sand on the outside of the ball, which is uninflated and folded up in a plastic bag inside the box it comes in. So when you open it up, you have some gritty sand fall out on your table, countertop, floor, or wherever. Not much, but it's a little messy, annoying, and could potentially scratch your table or wood floor until you clean it up and wipe off the outside of the ball. Also, if the ball ever were to tear or burst, you'd probably have a sandy mess to clean up.
The other negative is the pump that's included. It is a horribly designed little hand pump that, had it not broken after about two minutes of use, would have taken *forever* to inflate this large ball. If the pump hadn't broken, I suppose I could have gotten pectoral muscles like The Incredible Hulk just using it one time to inflate the ball ... but luckily, I own an air compressor, which made short work of things. But count on needing your own inflator, because the one included is junk.
Nonetheless, this is a very good value, and IMO a very good exercise ball. The price for the ball alone is very good, and I like the sand inside because the ball stays put. It appears to be a very thick, tough ball. Also it shows no sign of losing air after 2-3 weeks.
Just know what you're getting if you buy this product.
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