The capsule ball is a flexible polyvinyl chloride stepsister to the fitness ball, but with a flattened middle. If you find the unsteady nature of fitness balls challenging, use a capsule ball instead. The leveled middle minimizes the roll, while still enabling core and upper body exercises. Check with your doctor before beginning a capsule ball routine if you have a chronic health condition or are new to exercise.
The capsule ball assisted plank deeply engages your abdominals, including the rectus abdominis and transverse abs, along with the erector spinae -- the muscle running along your spine. This isometric move -- you remain in one position -- uses the ball to raise and support your lower body, engaging your glutes and quads. Start with your abs centered on the ball and move forward until your hands reach the floor. Walk yourself out until the ball is beneath your upper thighs. Center your hand beneath your shoulders while tightening your abs. Hold this position until your arms and abs become fatigued.
Use the capsule ball to target your main ab muscle running along the front of your abdomen -- the rectus abdominis -- with an ab crunch. The move also tones your obliques (the muscles that run along your waist on either side) and transverse abs, which can be tough to target. Sit on the flat part of your ball, with your feet on the floor. Spread your feet hip-width apart, straighten your back and crisscross your arms against your chest. Tighten your abs and slightly lean back. Stop once your feel your abs tighten. Hold this position, pausing for three breaths. Return to your starting position and repeat until your abs fatigue.
Tone and shape your shoulders, abs and triceps with a capsule ball move and some free weights. Place a dumbbell in each hand and center your abdomen on top of the ball. Lie down with your legs hanging over the side, and toes on the floor. Begin with your elbows bent, palms up, arms at your side. Lower your arms until they touch the floor. Bring your arms up and back, then lower them to your bottom. Repeat until you feel tightness in your shoulders and triceps.
For an exercise that produces taut quads along with reducing arm and ab flab, the ball hop should do the trick. In this exercise, you bounce up off the ball and then return to your starting position, so give yourself room to extend your arms without hitting anything. Sit on the ball, feet on the floor and elbows bent and out at shoulder height. Ball up your fists, placing them on your chest. Thrust your arms out and open your legs to the sides as you bounce on the ball. As you bounce, go airborne -- removing your feet and butt from floor and ball. Repeat until your thighs and biceps burn.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.