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Advance your core workout with a stability ball

A man doing leg raises with stability ball.
A man doing leg raises with stability ball.
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With all the different ab machines advertised in television and magazines, it can be hard to recognize which options are really worth their selling price. First try figuring out exactly what it is you’re after. Is it the airbrushed abs of the fitness models on television commercials and equipment boxes?  If so consider looking into a good photo editing software.  For more realistic goals and proven results invest in a stability ball. Not only is it one of the cheapest options available, it’s also one of the best.

Stability balls, also known as balance balls, mostly come in 3 different sizes to help accommodate people of all sizes. Some of the more basic exercises come on a poster with the ball, but with creativity or access to the internet you’ll be able to advance your core workout beyond belief.

One exercise you’ll want to try is leg raises. Lay with your back flat on the floor, legs straight out with your feet pointing up and your arms by your side palms down. Take a deep breathe and on the exhale lift one leg up as far as you can while keeping it straight, then inhale and return to the starting position. Now try this with the other leg. If you are able to do single leg raises with no pain, then progress to doing both legs at the same time.  

For the next progression, hold the stability ball between your feet, by squeezing the ball with the inside of your feet. While maintaining the squeeze on the ball, try another set of leg raises. The number of repetitions might drop at first, because this is a more challenging exercise when a stability ball is being utilized. Now your inner leg muscles including your hip adducters are engaged along with your core, which overall will help to burn more calories and also tone the inner portion of your legs. As always, be sure to maintain perfect technique throughout the set to maximize the efficiency of your workout.