Spare tire, love handles, thunder thighs – no matter what you call them, finding the right exercises to tone your lower belly, hips, and thighs can be a challenge.
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With regular exercise and determination, however, you can reshape, tighten and trim problem areas.
To get started on targeting and tone your lower body, come to terms with realistic goals. Setting goals will help you to stay disciplined to stay with your exercise routine. Push a little to get out of your comfort zone, but know your limitations. Do not strain, pull, or work beyond your fitness level. A daily dose of exercise – including resistance and cardio training – will yield profound results.
All of these exercises require a stability ball; however, you can modify the exercises and workout without the ball if you so choose. The added height of the ball adds dimension to your workout; the challenge of keeping the ball balanced and in place adds an extra workout dynamic.
Grab your stability ball and try these four moves to tone your lower belly, hips, and thighs.
1. Stability Ball Curls
Stability ball curls are great for toning the area below your navel. Don’t forget to squeeze to engage the inner thighs.
- Get comfortable on the floor. Lie on your back, placing arms down to your sides, palms facing down. With legs extended to a 90-degree angle above your hips, grip the stability ball between your feet.
- Breathe and exhale, curl your abdomen in and lift your hips to move the ball toward your navel. Breathe and inhale as you return to starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
2. Stability Ball Throw
The more you squeeze and work the ball, the greater the burn. Begin in the same position as stability ball curls. Here we go:
- Get comfortable on the floor. Lie on your back, placing arms down at your sides, palms facing down. With legs extended to a 90-degree angle above your hips, grip the stability ball between your feet.
- Drop the ball to your chest, catching with your hands. Return the ball between your feet, grasping and squeezing. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions. Watch the video here.
3. Stability Ball Thigh Toner
Tone and tighten your thighs while feeling the burn in your lower belly and hips. This exercise requires a resistance band, plus the stability ball.
- In a comfortable area, sit on the stability ball, feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Walk forward (keeping knees bent) and gently slide down the ball, so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Rest your lower back against the ball. Wrap the resistance band under your feet, securely holding handles to hip level.
- Breathe and exhale as you push into the ball and straighten your legs, pushing against the resistance band.
- Breathe and inhale as you return to starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
4. Stability Ball Crunch
This is a great workout for stability ball beginners. If you find it difficult to do crunches on the floor, try using a stability ball. The fundamental challenge of this crunch is to keep the ball from rolling away as you crunch.
- Get comfortable on the floor. Lie on your back, heels on the ball and knees slightly bent. Breathe and inhale as you extend arms forward, toward your knees.
- Breathe and exhale, lifting your shoulders off the floor, toward the ball. Incorporate your lower belly, hips, and thigh muscles to stabilize the ball. Breathe and inhale. Return to start position. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
We all have our own reasons to exercise. A tight belly, toned hips, and strong thighs are excellent assets when it comes to our overall health. Not only will you be able to endure more challenging workout routines, but you’ll find you perform everyday movements with greater ease, too.
Before embarking on any exercise program, consult with your health care professional to determine your fitness level and which exercise program works best for you.