I love working the stability ball into a client’s workout. It’s a neat piece of equipment you can use for several purposes, from classic core work, to postural guidance, to stability and balance challenges and more.
Wall squats are a good way to strengthen the back, butt, and legs, and with the stability ball in place, you can also work on posture – holding your spine tall in a neutral pelvic position (drawing the navel in) while pressing the shoulder blades into the ball.
Here are some variations on the wall squat. There are sooo many possibilities – these are just a few. Have a medicine ball handy for upper body work and to add to your body weight during squat holds.
Not included in the video, you can also take a small inflatable ball and put it between the inner thighs to add a new element of stability challenge. You can maintain a constant, light squeeze as you squat and hold, or you can actively squeeze (pulsing) as you hold the squat.
Your turn: Which variation will you try? How do you like to work out with the stability ball?
Becoming a barre is seriously one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I grew up dancing and although that didn’t translate into a career as a pro dancer, that didn’t stop me from keeping it in my life.
Besides the joy of dancing, barre has done wonders to help strengthen and shape my body. Those tricky areas (saddlebags, inner thighs, the booty) have all strengthened and trimmed down since I began taking (and eventually teaching) the classes.
Notice I use the word “strengthen” a lot – it’s because I want to set the right expectations here. Many people assume or have been told that exercises that target a certain muscle will burn the fat at that area, which is not exactly true. Everyone’s body is unique, and your body will decide where to lose fat first. That being said, building muscle in your “target” areas will help your metabolism along so that fat will burn more easily. So, strength workouts are important – incorporate them into your weekly routine!
Barre is great low-impact method that uses a fusion of ballet, pilates, and yoga moves to strengthen your body, as well as to improve posture and add flexibility. Check out this four-move sequence below to get a taste of what barre is about. Click on the picture to start the video. You can try this sequence at home with a chair or using the wall. Or better yet, try my class at ACAC Albemarle Square! Every Tuesday at 9:20 am.