Get your new body on the ball
The fitness world has gone ballistic. The stability ball -- also known as a Swiss ball or physioball -- has become so popular that it's been incorporated into workouts ranging from yoga and Pilates to body sculpting and cardio.
Why the love affair? Aside from being inexpensive, the stability ball is incredibly versatile, says Mike Morris, co-founder of Resist-A-Ball Inc., in Destin, Fla., and a pioneer in stability-ball training. Using a ball, you can strengthen and stretch nearly every muscle in your body, while improving balance, coordination and posture, he explains.
Here, Morris and the stars of four great stability-ball videos prescribe some of their best moves to sculpt your muscles, boost flexibility and incinerate calories and flab. See for yourself: It's our most complete ball workout yet.
how to buy a ball
Stability balls come in a variety of sizes. A 55-centimeter ball is appropriate for most intermediate and advanced exercisers, according to Mike Morris, co-founder of Resist-A-Ball. If you're a beginner, Morris recommends a 65-centimeter ball, which has a bigger base of support. You also can determine the appropriate size for your height by sitting erect on top of the ball and placing your feet flat on the floor; when doing so, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Prices typically range from $19-$35. To buy a ball and pump, contact resistaball.com or head to your local sporting-goods store.