Klutziness and a frugal streak keep me from using much in the way of workout equipment, but a stability ball is my one exception. Once I (literally) stopped rolling off it at the start of each new move, I felt how awesome exercise balls are for developing balance and stability while making it easier to target specific trouble spots. Check out these top moves from the FITNESS video library.

 Push-Up on a Ball

Your arms and shoulders are the first to take the brunt of what this see-saw-like move dishes out, but your chest and core will feel it as well.

Do it:

  • Lie with your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs.
  • Pull your navel in toward your spine, bending your elbows.
  • Lower your upper body to the floor. Hold this position for three seconds, and then push up so your elbows are straight but not locked. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged.
  • Start with 5 reps, working up to 15. Once you’ve mastered 15 reps, rest for one minute and then do a second set.

Squat with a Ball

Yes, this is an awesome thigh and butt toner. And indeed, I nearly knocked the TV off the wall in attempting this. (Find a larger wall space than you think you’ll need before hiking up the ball to the wall.)

Do it:

  • Place an exercise ball between the wall and the curve of your lower back.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and lower 5 to 10 inches, keeping your shoulders level and your hips square. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then stand back up.
  • Start with 5 reps and work up to 12. Rest for 30 seconds and do another set.