In this challenging workout, instructor Melissa Walker uses both more traditional and Pilates-inspired moves to work your abs using the ball. She starts right in with sit-ups, holding the ball in your hands as you roll up to hold it above your knees (sort of like a Pilates roll-up with the knees bent). Next, you lie with your feet and calves resting on the ball for oblique work. Melissa also has you push the ball towards you and away, giving your legs a workout as well, and she then returns to some additional sit-ups.
In the second half of the workout, Melissa has you do a full v-sit (similar to a Pilates teaser), first with the ball in your hands only and then transferring the ball from your hands to your feet and back again--these were tough! Another tough move was coming up to the v position and tapping both feet against the ball before lowering again. Next, Melissa sits on the ball and then lies sideways on it for more traditional crunches. The workout ends with the toughest move yet: with the tops of your feet face-down on the ball, you start in a plank position and then roll your feet in and up to form an inverted v--Melissa's form was perfect, but I could only do a few wobbly versions of these! At 23 1/2 minutes, this is a nice intermediate ball workout that will really target your abs.
Melissa is friendly and encouraging; she often looks at the camera and asks "are you doing okay?" She does a nice job explaining each move, but my one complaint was that she sometimes stopped and chatted for a bit too long before moving on to the next exercise.
Beth C (aka toaster)
July 30, 2005