Go ahead—have an (inflatable) ball. When it comes to fitness equipment, there’s little that works your whole body better. To stay on the ball—literally—you’re forced to engage all your muscles, which builds strength and improves stability. This head-to-toe toning routine was designed by Ashley Conrad, a personal trainer and the owner of Clutch BodyShop, in Los Angeles. Do it three times through, three times a week.
Move 1: Triceps Dip
Sit on a workout bench (or a stable chair) with your hands placed on the edge, fingers pointing forward. Rest your calves and ankles on top of a firm ball. Straighten your arms to lift your hips off the bench. Bend your arms to lower your body, then straighten them to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Move 2: Lower-Ab Crunch
Lie on the floor with arms beside you and calves on the ball. (A) Lift your backside up without arching your back (keep your abdominals tight for support). (B) With hips still raised, bend your knees and roll the ball toward you with your feet until they’re flat on top of the ball. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Move 3: Plank
Assume the top of a push-up position but rest your forearms on the ball. Keep your abs strong and your neck in line with your spine. Hold the pose for 45 seconds.
Move 4: Crunch
(A) Lie on the ball with your middle back resting on top, arms straight, and palms on your upper thighs. (B) Curl your upper body forward, one vertebra at a time, keeping your hands on your thighs. Lower to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Move 5: Shoulder Curl and Press
Hold the ball out in front of you with your feet hip-distance apart. (A) With arms straight, bring the ball down to your thighs. (B) Bend your elbows and curl the ball up to eye level. (C) Press the ball up at a 45-degree angle until your arms are fully extended. Return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Move 6: Side Squat
(A) Hold the ball above your head with your arms straight and feet hip-distance apart. (B) Keep your back flat and abs tight as you bend your knees and twist your torso to lower the ball toward your left foot. Return to the center with the ball overhead, then twist to the right side. Repeat 15 times.