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Can You Use a Bike Pump to Inflate an Exercise Ball? (& How)

What’s the point of owning an exercise ball if you can’t inflate it? There’s nothing worse than spending hours doing research finding the right ball for you, only for it to arrive and for you not to have a way to pump it up.

The good news is that you don’t need to have an exercise ball pump around to inflate it. If you’re an avid cyclist or if you live with someone who has a bike, you might already have what you need to pump up your new ergonomic and exercise toy.

Here’s everything you need to know about using a bike pump to inflate an exercise ball.

What Is An Ergonomic Chair

Can You Use a Bike Pump to Inflate an Exercise Ball?

Yes! You can use a bike pump to inflate an exercise ball!

A bike pump works similar to an exercise ball pump. It allows you to push air through a small opening with minimal effort. Most bike pumps are manual, so you physically pump the air into the tire. But there are also electronic ones.

Easiest use Bike and Ball Pump Inflator
Click the image for more info

We like electronic pumps because they measure the psi of whatever you’re inflating. Although this may not be necessary when filing an exercise ball. In fact, it might be easier to overfill a ball with an electronic pump because you have to be prepared to shut the pump off at the right time.

The bottom line is that you can use almost any bike pump to inflate an exercise ball, so before you rush out to buy an exercise ball pump, think about whether buying an entirely different pump is necessary.

Benefits of Using a Bike Pump

So, why would you want to use a bike pump?

Here are a few of our favorite reasons:

Budget Friendly

Budget money and a calculator on table

It’s no surprise that we love a good deal, and the best way to save money is not to spend it at all. Exercise ball pumps aren’t necessarily expensive, but why buy an entirely new product when you can get away using something you already own.

We love finding ways to use the same product multiple ways, and there’s no reason you need several kinds of manual pumps that work almost identically.

An exercise ball should be a relatively affordable purchase, so why make it more extensive when you don’t need to?

Just as Easy to Use

Bike pumps are incredibly simple to set up and use, so you won’t be compromising on convenience for using one. You won’t have to read any other manual or ask a friend for help.

Woman inflating an exercise ball

If you’re looking for easy, using the bike pump in the corner of your garage is the best way to go.

High Quality

The general population probably thinks pumping up your bike tires is more important than inflating your exercise ball. After all, riding with deflated bike tires can be a lot more dangerous than bouncing on a slightly-flat ball.

That’s not to say we feel that way. However, it does mean that bike pumps are usually made to be higher quality. There are more companies out there trying to make high-quality bike pumps, so you’re more likely to purchase (or own) a reliable and sturdy bike pump.

How Do You Pump Up an Exercise Ball with a Bike Pump?

How to inflate Gym Ball / Swiss Ball with bicycle pump

Unfortunately, you can’t just plug a bike pump into an exercise ball and start filling it. If you did, you’d quickly find that it doesn’t fit. Bike pump valves and exercise ball valves are quite different, so you couldn’t efficiently pump air into the ball without most of it escaping.

If you’re going to use a bike pump for an exercise ball, you need to purchase an adapter. This has to be purchased separately, but is relatively inexpensive. The adapter will plug into the end of the bike pump and make it possible to fill your exercise ball quickly.

Have a look at the plug on your exercise ball? How large is it? Does it look like it needs a needle pump or a nozzle?

If you’re unsure how it should be filled, your best option is to get a pump kit with multiple pieces. That will save you having to make multiple trips to and from the store trying to find the perfect fit.

Take the bike pump and screw off the pump nozzle. Make sure to store it in a safe place, you don’t want to lose it!

Now take the correct exercise ball pump nozzle and screw it onto the pump. To save time, we recommend testing out the tip before putting it on the pump.

Now, you should be able to pump your exercise ball normally.

How Much Should I Fill My Exercise Ball?

Let’s take a moment to talk about how much you should inflate your exercise ball. If your ball has too much air in it, it won’t be comfortable to sit on. You also risk popping it if it’s over-inflated.

Manometer on bike pump

On the other end of the spectrum, an exercise ball without enough air will be difficult to sit on. You might end up slouching and it won’t challenge your core and balance well.

Ideally, you want to be able to push into the ball about 2 inches. If your ball isn’t flexible enough to do so, you should release some air from it.

Always do this check after inflating your ball. Sometimes a ball may look inflated but be a little too soft to the touch.

How Do You Pump Up an Exercise Ball without a Pump?

NO MORE SAGGY BALLS! Inflate Your Exercise Ball With No Pump

You may not have a pump lying around, but do you have a hairdryer? If the answer is yes, you’re going to be able to fill up your exercise ball!

The most important thing to remember is filling up the ball with cold air. If you use hot air, you may ruin your hairdryer or not inflate your ball properly. We don’t recommend doing this hack if your hairdryer doesn’t have a cold air setting.

Locate the valve on your ball and hold your hairdryer to it. You want to create a seal between the ball and hairdryer, so make sure they are firmly pressed against each other. While holding onto the cold air button, turn on the hairdryer and let the ball inflate.

This will take a while, so use this as an opportunity to catch up on Youtube videos and simply practice patience. You should notice the ball slowly inflating.

Once the ball is full of air, turn the hairdryer off and secure the plug into the ball.

If the idea of using a hairdryer doesn’t appeal to you, head over to your local gas station!

Local Gas Station

Most gas stations are equipped with air compressors, which also work well to fill up exercise balls. We recommend bringing your adapters with you, just in case the one on the air compressor doesn’t fit.

You will need to be mindful of how much you fill up the ball, you don’t want to pop it! Slowly inflate the ball, it’s way easier to add more than deal with an over-inflated ball.

You might want to clean the ball after filling it up at the gas station, since they aren’t well-known for their sanitary habits.

Recommended Products

Here are our favorite products we think you should have on hand if you’re an avid exercise ball user.

Shappy 4 Pieces Ball Pump Needle Set 

Shappy 4 Pieces Ball Pump Needle Set
Click the image for more info

If you never want to be caught out with the wrong pump adapter, this is the set for it. It contains four different adapters, so no matter what kind of exercise ball you need to inflate, you’re always prepared.

This set is incredibly affordable and has great reviews. They work well with manual and electronic pumps and are made with high-quality metal and plastic. Just make sure you keep them in a safe place and don’t lose them!

ONUNI Portable Air Pump 

Portable Air Pump-Ball Pump Inflator Kit with Needle
Click the image for more info

If you decide that you want to go ahead and invest in a proper exercise ball pump, we’ve got you covered. This manual air pump contains several different adapters and has fantastic reviews. It doesn’t require any electricity and is lightweight so you can keep it with you in case of exercise ball-related emergencies.

To Wrap Things Up

You can effectively pump up an exercise ball with a bike pump. So, dig through your garage, pull out your bike pump, and see what kind of adapter you need to buy.

The last thing anyone wants is to make a simple task like filling up a ball difficult.

You should also check if your gas station has an air compressor, as that will work very well, too.

If you decide to try the hairdryer option, let us know how it goes for you! Were you able to create a tight enough seal? How long did it take to inflate the ball fully? We want to hear all about it in the comments below!

Good luck!

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