With the weather getting warmer, it's a great time to get outdoors and be active. Martha's personal trainer, Mary Tedesco, has some wonderfully effective new exercises using the NRG Ball. Developed in 1998 by fitness expert Howard Panes, the NRG Ball has custom foam grips that fit the contours of your hands, making each movement comfortable; it comes in beginner, intermediate, and advanced configurations. (Mary recommends beginning with the lightest ball, and progressing to the intermediate and advanced systems as you build strength.) The NRG Ball system can be configured with two bars, one bar, or only the ball for a variety of workouts.
To do this workout without the NRG Ball, try using a dumbbell or medicine ball. If you have lower-back issues, or have ever had surgery on your back, be sure to contact your doctor before doing these exercises.
Tennis Front Hand
Standing, swing the NRG Ball across the body from right to left. This works your core and arms.
Standing with feet hip-width apart, swing the ball back with both hands and follow through to the front. This works your core, back, and shoulders.
Plank with Ball
Place your hands and toes on an exercise mat. Hold yourself in a plank position with both bars on the NRG Ball. This works your core, chest, and arms.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands holding the bar of the NRG Ball. Simulate a golf swing with a slight hold at the top of the swing. This works your core, back, and shoulders.
Seated Core Swing
Sit on an exercise mat. With knees slightly bent and abs tight, swing ball from side to side. This works your core and arms.
Special thanks to Mary Tedesco for demonstrating these exercise techniques. NRG Balls and the NRG Ball System are available at nrgball.com; enter promo code "fitmartha10" to receive a $10 discount.