Your Ultimate Tightening Tool

Simple moves become serious fat-blazers when you add one secret—but ubiquitous—weapon. IFBB bikini pro India Paulino grabs a stability ball for a surefire challenge that recruits more muscles than standard strength moves alone.

September 11, 2013

Works: Abs, Inner Thighs

• Lie on the mat with your arms and legs straight, palms down, and lower back flat, holding a stability ball between your ankles.

• Brace your abs and raise the ball until your legs are almost perpendicular to the floor, keeping a slight angle for tension.

• Lower the ball until it’s about six inches off the floor. Perform two sets of 25 reps.

TIP: Stop the leg raise just before you no longer feel resistance at the top, to maintain maximum tension throughout the move.

Works: Core, Glutes, Hamstrings

• Lie on your back with your hands flat on the mat and your heels on top of a stability ball, legs straight.

• Bridge your pelvis up, pulling your lower and mid back off the floor. Create a straight line, with your core engaged from your heels to your shoulder blades. Then draw your heels inward toward your glutes while maintaining control.

• Return to elevated bridge. Repeat for two sets of 25 reps.

TIP: Make sure to use the full range of motion: Brace abs, and after drawing your heels inward, extend your legs all the way out to an elevated bridge.

Works: Chest, Core, Abs

• Holding dumbbells, lie back on a stability ball, upper glutes to shoulder blades touching the ball.

• Lift the dumbbells above your chest, palms facing each other.

• Keeping your torso and head in line, slowly lower dumbbells out to your sides and down to shoulder level.

• Return to start, with arms above chest. Do three descending sets of 16, 12, and 10 reps, increasing the weight each set.

Works: Shoulders, Core

• Sit on an exercise ball with your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells with your elbows bent 90 degrees and palms forward.

• Perform a shoulder press , then return to start. Twist torso to the left until your right elbow is over your right knee.

• Return to start, perform another shoulder press, then twist to the right. Perform two descending sets of 16 and 12 reps, increasing the weight each set.

TIP: To fire up as many abdominal fibers as possible, exhale during the twist.

Works: Core, Lower Abs

• Assume a plank position on a stability ball, arms bent, applying inward pressure through your hands.

• Keeping your back flat, drive your right knee toward the ball, then return your foot to the start. Repeat with your left knee. Do two sets of 30 reps.

TIP: Keep knees as close to the floor as you can. This will engage your lower abs (instead of your hips) to the max.

Works: Shoulders, Core, Quads, Hamstrings

• Hold dumbbells at your sides, palms facing inward. Put your left foot forward and place your right toe on a stability ball directly behind you, knee bent 90 degrees.

• Perform a rear lunge, pushing the ball backward until your shin touches it. Simultaneously raise dumbbells to chin level.

• Return to the start position. Perform two sets of 15 reps on each leg.

Works: Biceps, Core

• Sit on a ball with your feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells at your sides, with arms extended and palms forward.

• Extend your left leg forward under control to maintain balance.

• Perform 10 biceps curls with leg extended and while keeping your core engaged, then switch legs. Perform two sets of 20 reps.

TIP:Stability ball workouts can recruit up to 38% more muscle fibers than floor- and bench-based basics.

Works: Chest, Core, Abs

• Get in plank position with the tops of your feet and ankles resting on a stability ball. Lower into a pushup.

• Return to plank position and immed­iately drag ball toward your chest.

• Slowly straighten your legs and return to start, then immediately begin next pushup. Do two sets of 20 reps.