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Insider's Guide to Stability Balls

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Try working out with this do-it-all stability ball, perfect for toning your abs, thighs, and more.

Stability Ball 101

Here's why you should get ballin':

A stability ball works your abs way more than regular crunches do. Plus, use it in place of a bench for strength moves and your core gets a workout -- you'll engage your deep obliques and lower-back muscles to stay in place, says Stephanie Dupuis-Morris, co-owner of Resist-A-Ball.

It's adaptable to every fitness level. For beginners, the ball provides support to make moves like push-ups easier. More advanced exercisers can add challenging balance positions to basic strength moves like bridges and lunges.

It helps banish back pain. Physical therapists love the ball because it strengthens the deep muscles of the spine. One recent study found that subjects who used the ball regularly improved muscular endurance (the number of consecutive reps you can do) by 57 percent in 10 weeks.

Ball Basics

  • Choose the right ball for your height -- 5': 45-cm ball; 5'1" to 5'7": 55-cm ball; 5'8" and up: 65-cm ball.
  • Inflate the ball enough so that when you sit on it with your feet on the floor, your knees are even with or just above your hips.
  • To make the exercises more difficult, add more air to the ball: The firmer it is, the greater the challenge.
  • Stability balls start at $15.95, depending on size; hand and foot pumps are available from $7.95. For more information, go to

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dbbdzzydb wrote:

my? ifi'm doing resistance weights for biceps and triceps is it possible to gain musle weight?????

3/12/2010 07:48:40 AM Report Abuse
wschultz208 wrote:

don't you have any exercises for people with back and neck injuries......I can't do hardly any of these

3/10/2010 12:55:04 PM Report Abuse
kolivecrona wrote:

@ tweetylc13 - i think you are meant to rest your non moving legs ankle on top of your moving legs knee(lower thigh), that way you are balancing with one leg and it makes you have to engage your core more. Hope that made sense.

3/10/2010 12:48:05 PM Report Abuse
tweetylc13 wrote:

How can you do it with just one leg for the challenge? Where do you place non-moving leg?

3/10/2010 11:47:15 AM Report Abuse

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