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Incorporate a stability ball into your dumbbell workout for an extra challenge.

Instead of using a standard weight bench, change up your dumbbell workout by using a stability ball to perform specific exercises. Doing exercises like triceps extensions or pec flys while positioned on a stability ball offers the increased benefit of strengthening your core. The unstable design of the ball may provide more of a challenge to your trunk while developing stability in your abdominal and spine muscles. Weak core muscles have been associated with lower back pain, whereas a strong and stable core may enhance athletic performance and prevent exercise related injuries.

Overhead Triceps Extension

Sit on a stability ball with both feet firmly on the floor, placed about hip width apart. Tuck your abdominals in tightly and stack your spinal blocks, lifting your spine tall and straight. Hold one dumbbell with both hands wrapped around the handle on one end. Keep your head perfectly centered between your shoulders and aligned with your spine. Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbell over your head, arms fully extended but elbows not locked. Keep your elbows facing forward and your palms facing the ceiling. Inhale as you slowly lower the weight behind your head until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Avoid letting the weight make contact with your head or back of your neck. Exhale and extend the weight back to overhead starting position. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Dumbbell Pec Fly

Performing pec flys on a stability ball allows you to target your chest muscles while strengthening your abs, glutes and erector spinae muscles. The ball also provides a comfortable position for your shoulders and upper back. Position yourself on a stability ball with just your upper back, head and shoulders resting on the top of the ball. Place your feet firmly on the floor with your knees bent in a 90-degree angle positioned hip width apart. Lift your thighs and torso until your body is parallel with the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms directly above your chest, palms facing each other, arms fully extended but without locking your elbows. Slowly open your arms in an arc motion until the dumbbells are about even with your chest. Remember to keep your abs tight and thighs parallel to the ground throughout the movement. Exhale and return the weights to the start position directly above your chest. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Seated Shoulder Press

This exercise targets your deltoids as well as tones your core. Squeeze your buttocks muscles throughout the exercise for an additional glute challenge. Sit on the ball with both feet placed firmly on the floor, knees bent in a 90-degree angle placed hip-width apart. Start with dumbbells lined up at ear level with an overhand grip and palms facing forward. Exhale as you press both dumbbells overhead. Remember to keep your wrists over your elbows and your arms parallel to your body throughout the movement. Inhale as you return the dumbbells to ear level. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

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