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How to Use the Danskin Exercise Ball

By Carolyn Williams

Danskin's exercise ball goes one step beyond a regular inflated exercise ball by including an inflatable ball rest, weighted handles and resistance bands. While some customers have been less than impressed by the additions, Danskin's exercise ball provides a solid core workout and can also be used to work your upper body.

Work your core. Balancing on the ball, with the middle of your back resting on the ball, complete a set of abdominal crunches by moving your upper ribs closer to your hips. Novices should keep their hands in front of them, intermediate exercisers should extend their arms in front of them and advanced exercisers can tuck their hands behind their head. If you need additional stability, use Danskin's ball rest to minimize the potential for the ball to roll while you're on it. Try two sets of 12 repetitions to begin. As your ab strength increases, try a set or two without the rest to see how much control you have.

Work your back. Face the floor and rest your hips on the ball. Put both hands flat on the ground and roll forward so that your feet extend into the air behind you. If you're using Danskin's ball rest, move forward until your feet are extended behind you. Lift and lower your legs, keeping them straight, for 12 repetitions for two sets. As your strength increases, remove the rest to see how much control you have.

Work your biceps. Sit on the ball. Grasp both handles in your hands, keeping them next to you. Stabilize your core by sitting upright, lowering your shoulders and sucking in your abdomen, though make sure you can breathe easily. Lift and lower the handles to your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked to your side, so that the resistance bands are taut and offer a good bicep workout. Repeat for three sets of 12. Remove the ball rest to incorporate your core more aggressively as you'll need to stabilize your body on the ball as you complete the exercise.

Work your shoulders. Sit on the ball. Grasp both handles in your hands and raise your hands to your shoulders, palms facing away from your body. Stabilize your core as you did in Step 3. Lift the handles straight up over your shoulders, above your head. Lower the handles back to your shoulders to the position you started in. Repeat for three sets of 12. Remove the ball rest for a bigger core challenge.

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