Avoid those annoying finger, hand, and arm cramps while toning your upper body—and prevent carpal tunnel!
Have you ever worked out with weighted balls? I never gave them much thought until I stumbled upon the workout video below. The arm, shoulder, and back exercises look like standard moves I’ve performed with dumbbells many times before so why the weighted balls? Do they work different muscles than dumbbells? Do they make moves harder or easier to perform? Are there any benefits to using a weighted ball in place of regular weights? I just had to know so I gave celebrity trainer and SHAPE Editor-at-Large, Jay Cardiello, a call.
Just like a dumbbell, a weighted ball will help you sculpt your arms, shoulders, back, and chest but, if you have a job where you’re typing at your desk all day, you may want to switch to weighted balls.Unlike a dumbbell this type of weight allows you to work the individual joins of your fingers increasing your grip, wrist, and forearm strength. Why would you want to increase finger strength you ask? “It will help you be less prone to carpal tunnel syndrome,” says Cardiello.
According to Cardiello, using the weighted balls, “can work fingers on a unilateral basis (not familiar with unilateral training? Find out what it is and why you should be doing it here), which is especially important when you’re texting, typing, or on your iPad all day.” The only disadvantage to the weighted ball is that, as it gets heavier, you will need to use two hands to lift it simply due to an increased circumference.
Considering I spend all day typing these blogs it looks like I’ll be picking up a set of weighted balls soon ($15; amazon.com). In the meantime I’ll be doing this workout video below with my five-pound dumbbells.
Do you use weighted balls? Do you find them any more or less challenging than traditional weights? Please share your experience in the comments below and give this 10-minute upper body workout video a try!
As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.