The Best Core Strength And Stability Gear - Build Strength and Balance

I know we often talk about getting flat abs, but strong abs are even more important. In fact, we don't even call them 'abs' anymore - We call it 'working the core.' Improving core strength means strong abs, better posture and long, lean muscles.

Working on balance and torso strength allows you to incorporate all your muscles for a dynamic and functional workout.

You don't need any equipment to strengthen your core or work your balance, but there are some great tools out there that can help you do all three.

1
An Exercise Ball

SPRI exercise balls
Amazon

An exercise ball is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can own. You can work every part of your body while improving strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. I love the SPRI exercise ball - It's the perfect thickness - Not too hard and not too soft.

Here's what you can do with it:

  • Use it during workouts - Use it as a weight bench, for ab exercises or flexibility exercises
  • Sit on it while you watch TV to keep your body and core engaged
  • Sit on it while you work on the computer for better posture

More about choosing the right exercise ball

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2
BOSU Ballast Ball

BOSU Ballast Ball
Amazon

The BOSU Ballast Ball adds a dynamic element to core workouts with the added weight of the ballast inside as well as the stability.

Basically, there's 'ballast' inside, a kind of bean baggy sort of material that keeps the ball from rolling but it also shifts and moves as you roll, toss and lift the ball during different exercises.

With the BOSU Ballast Ball, you can do a variety of exercises that will challenge your core, balance and stability.

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3
Pilates Ring

Pilates Ring
Amazon

You don't have to hit a Pilates class or buy an expensive Pilates machine to get the core benefits.

This high-tension Pilates Ring is great for training the core muscles - You can squeeze it between the hands, for example, while doing crunches or you can squeeze it between the feet to work the lower body.

It pretty much works every muscle of the core and lower body.

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4
Medicine Balls

Medicine Ball
Amazon

You may equate medicine balls with trauma-inducing P.E. classes from years ago, but they're a lot more fun now.

Medicine balls are back and, best of all, they add an element of fun to your usual workout. You can squeeze them, bounce them, toss them, swing them in circles...all of which will engage your core while working on balance, stamina and coordination.

You can do such a huge variety of exercises, this one is a great choice for any home gym.

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5
BOSU Balance Trainer

People abs on BOSU
Getty Images/Eliza Snow

The BOSU Balance Trainer is one of my favorite tools for working the core and stabilizer muscles.

It's like a ball, but with a flat platform side so you can use it with the dome side up or down. I also like the BOSU because it's versatile - you can use it for a variety of exercises including cardio, strength, core work, balance, flexibility...the list goes on. This is a great choice for your home gym.

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6
Foam Roller

Foam Roller
Amazon

The foam roller may seem like an odd piece of exercise equipment but, believe it or not, you can improve balance, flexibility and strength with one.

Often used for rehabbing injuries, the foam roller can be incorporated into a regular strength training routine. Try lying on it while doing chest presses or crunches, or hold onto it for a challenge during pushups. You can even use a foam roller to massage tight muscles.

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7
Balance Disc

Balance cushion
Amazon

Want a kinda fun way to strengthen your core?  Try getting one of these balance discs and sitting on it while you're at work.  Yes, you'll look funny wobbling around, but it's excellent for engaging your core.

You can also do tons of great balancing exercises - Stand on it, do exercises like biceps curls or overhead presses while balancing on it or even try balancing on one leg (keep a railing handy so you don't fall).  It also makes a nice pillow for floor exercises.

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8
Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands
Amazon

Resistance Bands are great for the core and stabilizer muscles because they create tension throughout every part of your exercises.

You recruit more muscle fibers to keep good form and to keep the band moving on a smooth path.

Bands are inexpensive and they travel well, making them a great choice for a variety of purposes.  They don't take up any room and you can work your entire body.  I really love the SPRI brand of bands.  They last long and are great quality.

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