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Having a 'Ball' With Exercise

Exercise balls are a recent trend in fitness, and they target muscles that are often forgotten.

On a Roll

Exercise balls allow you to target muscles that are seldom used but essential to health and fitness.

 

"The ultimate goal of the exercise ball is to challenge core strength," says Sullivan.

 

With a stronger "core," overall athletic ability is enhanced, and with that comes better posture and balance.

 

With a cost of between $10 and $200, depending on size and what comes with the exercise ball, such as videotapes, air pumps, or other equipment, it can be a bargain compared with costly exercise machines. Better yet, they are easy to use and remind you that there is more to your body than a six-pack and shapely calves.

Don't Forget Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are similar to exercise balls. Smaller in size and heavier in weight, they are used to strengthen the core of the body.

 

"Medicine balls, also called heavy balls, promote muscular strength and endurance, work the core muscles, and can simulate some athletic moves," says Cotton. "They can target the forearms, biceps, triceps, and support muscles, including the abs, upper and lower back, shoulders, and legs."

 

As with the exercise ball, work with a certified trainer, physical therapist, or exercise physiologist when you are first beginning to use the medicine ball.

 

A good starting exercise is to find a partner and simply play catch with the medicine ball. This strengthens the arms, and chest, and back area.

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