Monday, April 11, 2011

Get Toned: Danskin 6 lb Ball

Danskin's new take on old school medicine balls.

We're all a bit out of shape from winter but the grass is starting to grow again.  Perfect timing for adding a little variety to your workout routine.  Kettlebells are all the rage but you do need special training to avoid injury using them.  They are not easy to hold and control despite their handles.  Now while I recommend visiting XTreme XTraining for more hardcore exercise ideas, using a weighted toning ball is something that nearly everyone can start out with regardless of fitness level.

Danskin 8lb Weighted Ball
Danskin's Weighted Toning Ball is soft and latex free with an easy to grip vinyl shell.  They make a perfect alternative to hard, uncomfortable dumbbells and free weights.  They come in a variety of weights from 3 lbs up to 10 lbs so you can use them alone or as they do in the boxing gym, tossed back and forth between two people.  In fact a weighted toning ball offers a unique strength training tool. Exercising with a toning ball improves core strength, functional movement, overall muscle tone and flexibility.   Use the ball for strengthening the core muscles of your midsection (abdominals ,obliques , hips and lower back).  Use the ball for overhead stretches and you'll notice your arms becoming much more defined and toned in a short period of time.  Once you feel that your exercises have become too easy, move up to the next weight which is 8 lbs shown here.

When your muscles are toned, you'll find everyday tasks become easier and more enjoyable.  It also helps with range of movement and motion.  Multiple repetitions with low weights can produce impressive results because unlike using an exercise machine, your smaller muscles have to work to stabilize the weight.   You can really get a whole body workout with these things!  Here are two easy exercises for your arms, abs, hips and thighs:

The Golf Swing

Using an 8 lb ball, alternate sides for 30-45 seconds or reps.  To hit your biceps in this exercise, try bending and straightening your elbows at the top and bottom of the motion.  You can start with a lighter weighted ball of 3 lbs as this is a more advanced exercise. You WILL feel it!

Leg Rows

Start by reclining back on your elbows.  Using a 6-8lb ball, start with it cradled between your ankles.  Extend and retract your legs smoothly for 45 - 60 seconds keeping your heels above the floor.  This really works the midsection while touching on your hip flexors and thighs.

Toning balls are very easy to pack and take on vacation or trips.  You don't need to leave your workout routine at home when you can get it on the road.  I've highly recommended using all types of toning and exercise balls in my health & fitness books as they are a great way to shape up without heavy gym equipment.
These are just two exercises to get you started but stop by at Prevent for more Swiss and weighted toning ball moves to shape you up!

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