A balance or stability ball, also called a Swiss ball, is a large exercise ball constructed of soft elastic and filled with air. It is used in physical therapy and athletic training. It is a beneficial exercise tool because it offers instability. The body responds to this by engaging more muscles to remain balanced. Those muscles, particularly the core body muscles, become stronger over time to keep balance. According to Fitness magazine, stability balls are versatile, must-have workout tools for total-body toning. The best stability ball DVDs are rated by fitness publications and reputable websites.
"10 Minute Solution"
The "10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts" DVD is recommended by the website Exercise Ball DVD Reviews as well as by the editors of "Fitness" magazine in 2008. This workout includes five 10-minute toning segments for different parts of the body including the upper body, lower body, abdominal muscles, total body and a flexibility/stretch routine. You use the stability ball in each segment to make the moves more difficult and/or to increase your range of motion. The ball becomes a fluid and natural part of every movement. Each segment offers a wide range of nonstop exercises. Do the whole DVD for a 52-minute intense, total body workout or mix and match. One-on-one teaching and smooth transitions make it enjoyable.
"Charlene Johnson's"Get on the Ball"
This is actually a workout system that includes two DVDs and is recommended by the Exercise Ball DVD Reviews web site. Both workouts use the stability ball in a variety of innovative ways. The first routine, "Total Body Blast" is a 60-minute workout that alternates intense cardiovascular segments with targeted body-sculpting/toning moves, also known as interval training, to reshape your entire body, focusing on common problem areas, such as the thighs and buttocks. The second workout titled "Kickin' Core," targets your abdominal muscles and core, as well as your oblique muscles, helping you achieve a tighter middle and a slimmer waist. This 45-minute routine is all on-the-ball and provides one of the most complete and challenging abdominal workouts you've ever experienced.
"Fit to Firm"
"Fat-to-Firm: Fitness Workout for Dummies," released in 2003, was recommended by the editors of three fitness magazines in 2004 as one of the best stability ball DVD workouts. This "For Dummies" classic is a comprehensive stability ball strength training DVD, featuring 15 effective body-shaping exercises. Like many ball workouts, the emphasis is on building core strength and balance. This workout includes toning exercises using dumbbells, such as overhead presses and abdominal curls. In addition to standard moves, there are fun, innovative exercises such as "oblique saws"---a Pilates-inspired movement. Like other "Dummies" videos, it includes both easier as well as more difficult modifications to better customize the workout to your particular fitness level.
"Keli Roberts A.S.A.P."
Veteran celebrity trainer Keli Roberts leads "A.S.A.P." or "Abdominals, Stability and Posture." According to editors of Fitness magazine in 2007, this 31-minute "quickie" workout targets your back, core and legs and is particularly beneficial for improving balance. Each exercise is multi-functional, which means it works more than one muscle group or accomplishes more than one goal at a time, such as increasing flexibility while building core strength. The 31-minute workout is divided into three eight-minute premixed segments. Choose one or complete all three together. Each workout has a different emphasis: strength, balance/core or strength/balance.
- Fitness: The Summer's Best Exercise DVDs; August 2008
- Exercise Ball DVD: "Charlene Johnson's Get on the Ball"
- Shape: "Get on the Ball"; June 2004
- Fitness: Best Workout DVDs; June 2007