Make it a Little Unstable
Take any exercise, like a bicep curl or a squat and add instability to the experience and you will likely gain extra benefits from the fitness effort. If you perform bicep curls standing on one leg, you have to use your core muscles to help you balance. If you perform squats while standing on a Bosu, which is a piece of exercise equipment that looks like an inflated ball cut in half, in a large base, you will also have to use your core muscles.
Experts say that when you involve the whole body in an exercise that challenges your stability and your balance, it changes your center of gravity and forces you to engage your core (abdominal and back) muscles. A new piece of equipment that is now available is called the ActivMotion Bar, which is a hollow bar that has steel balls in the core of the bar. As you hold the bar, the balls shift and move from side to side, forcing you to engage your core, as you try to deal with the shifting balls and the shifting weight of the apparatus, while performing arm and leg exercises. I personally tested this equipment out at the recent IHRSA Expo in Los Angeles, and definitely felt the added challenge of balancing the bar while performing a series of traditional exercise moves!
Quick tip: You can also challenge your core muscles when you stand in a checkout line, by balancing on one foot and then the other foot. Make it harder by holding a basket filled with food items in one hand.
Source: Stone Hearth News
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach