Up to 40 workouts @ Home | Kawachi Slimflex | Perfect Fitness Tool
The One Fitness Tool You Need To Transform Your Body
Photo by LUNAMARINA/Getty Images
As a fitness editor, I'm lucky enough get to check out all kinds of awesome fitness gear, whether it's lacing up cool new running shoes or taking high-tech fitness trackers for a test drive. I've seen a lot of amazing gadgets and gizmos over the years, but if I had to pick just one tool for my at-home workouts (other than my yoga mat) it would be the mini exercise ball. Nope, it's not new, it doesn't require a charger, and it can't talk to my iPhone or tell me how long I slept.
And yet, this little inflatable sphere has been influential in helping to reverse the low back pain and—yep, I'll admit it—the butt flattening that starts to occur from commuting two hours a day. Which is why I wanted to remind you of it's amazing, squishy, phenomenal toning power. So if it's tucked behind your TV or hanging with the dust bunnies in a closet, go grab it. (Or, .) And then, try these exercises that'll hit the areas we all want to firm (like the belly, butt, arms, and thighs). I'll be doing them too, on the floor of my living room, catching up on the day's news (or … another episode ofMadam Secretary).
Firm your backside: Ball Hold
Photo by Susan Seubert
Why:Placing your feet on the ball adds instability, forcing the muscles in your butt and the back of your legs to work harder.
How:Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on top of ball, feet and knees parallel and pressed together. Slowly lift hips off floor a few inches and hold 1 minute, keeping core engaged and heels pressing together and down into ball.
Tone inner thighs and butt: Glute Bridge Squeeze
Why:The standard glute bridge is an amazing exercising for transforming your entire backside, and incorporating the mini exercise ball takes it to a whole other level. Keep at it for a minute and you'll feel the burn—and see the results—quickly.
How:Lying on the your back with feet flat on the floor, place the mini exercise ball between your bent knees. Squeeze the ball and raise your hips off the ground until your knees and chest are in a straight line, then lower back down to start.
MORE:The No Squat, Belly, Butt, And Thighs Workout
Pull in your waist: Upright Core Twist
Illustration by Chris Philpot
Why:The ball helps to stabilizes the pelvis and reduces stress on your back, isolating your deepest belly muscles.
How:Sit with ball behind lower back, knees bent and feet flat on floor. Press lower back into ball and lean torso back slightly. Extend arms in front of your body at chest height. Keeping hips still, rotate torso to the left and bend left arm, pulling left elbow next to left side. Slowly return to center and repeat on right side. Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.
Tighten your low belly: Scissors
Photo by Rus Anson
Why:Using the ball forces you to keep your belly pulled into your spine, which protects your lower back and deepens the toning-power of standard leg drops.
How:Lie on back with knees bent, ball under hips, arms out to sides. Lift feet so shins are parallel to floor, knees stacked over hips, then extend legs straight up. This is your starting position. Lower right leg, keeping toes pointed. Return to start, then lower and lift left leg. That's 1 rep. Do 25 reps.
Tone your upper arms with: Triangle Push-Up Against A Wall
Why:Don't be surprised when your triceps start to shake; the instability provided by the ball forces them to work harder.
How:Stand facing a wall with your arms extended in front of you at chest height and your hands on the ball. Press the ball into the wall as you bend your elbows until your chest nearly touches the ball. Push back to the starting position. Continue for 20 to 30 seconds. Do 2 or 3 sets.
Video: What Is The Best Fitness Tool
7 Second-Base Positions Every Woman Remembers All Too Well
Kelly Framel of The Glamourai’s Top 5 Favorite Places ToShop
DIY Fashion: 15 DIY Shoes Design Ideas
How to Take an Ice Bath
Bruce Jenner Tells Daughters That Bruce Will No Longer Exist by Spring
An Introduction to Restorative Yoga
We ate everything on Taco Bells Dollar Cravings Menu
6 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Julia Restoin Roitfeld Shares The 1 Outfit for Busy Ladies
How to Prevent Hacking
Pisces feel things deeply — but that means they can get hurt easily
13 Best Swimsuits for Big Busts