More Power to You: Increasing Strength and Improving Balance

March 18, 2009

TARGET: Legs and Buttocks

  1. Plié in second position behind the ball, knees over toes and back straight. Engage abs and buttocks.
  2. Push off the floor into a second position sauté, toes pointed, knees straight and, keeping arms straight, lift the ball over your head.

Total reps: 5-8



  1. Sit in the center of the ball, hands at sides of the ball and feet flat on the ground in front of you.
  2. Engaging powerhouse muscles and keeping back straight, lift knees off the floor and place heels on the ball. (Use arms for balance, not to aid in the action.)
  3. Maintaining position, slowly straighten legs in front of you, forming a V. Be sure to keep breathing. Hold for 30 seconds.

MODIFICATION: If you can’t straighten your legs right away, extend legs as far as you can without hunching your back or shoulders.

Total reps: 2


TARGET: Total Body

  1. Roll torso over the ball into a push-up position, toes pointed, tops of feet resting on the ball and arms planted directly beneath shoulders.
  2. Flex feet, bend toes to grip ball, and maintain body alignment. 3. Keeping legs straight and without losing the ball, pike your body until your back is as perpendicular to the floor as possible. (The ball should roll toward your head.) Return to starting position.

Total reps: 3-5


TARGET: Improved Balance

  1. Place knees on the top center of the ball, hands firmly planted beneath shoulders, arms straight.
  2. Balance, working up to 60-second holds.


Angelique Christensen is a certified Pilates instructor in NYC.