Folks, days later I’m still scratching my head wondering how an innocent green ball could cause so much pain. I’m sure, by now, you’ve seen the commercials advertising that lovely little workout tool known as the Bender Ball. In all honesty, I really didn’t give the little green guy much credit. Before I began the DVD workout that comes with the ball, I was playing around, and trying different workouts on it that I’d normally try on a regular stability ball. Big mistake!!! It’s small. There’s not a lot of back support. (You would think I would have been smart enough to understand that.) Don’t be your own gym class hero. No, no, no…Let Leslee Bender, creator and workout leader extraordinaire, lead the way.
I warn you because one of my gal pals saw the ball sitting in my living room and shrieked at it. Apparently her doctor isn’t a fan of the little guy and said it’s not the best friend folks with back issues should have in their lives. This raised a couple of red flags, but after finishing the DVD I concluded that if you follow the instructions you’re golden. You rarely have the ball in your lower back region and when you doc, you’re never doing anything dangerously wonky.
The workouts are subtle. Very slow, calculated movements that left my abs shaking. At one point, Leslee even mentions the earthquake-like shakes, which made me feel somewhat more normal. If you’ve been working toward strong abs, then this may be a good routine to incorporate into your existing workouts. It will definitely give your obliques a new jolt of OMGs. Just remember, it doesn’t matter how many abs you’re crunching, twisting and jolting, if you’re not making healthy eating choices, all this stuff is just a waste of cash.
As for the little green ball that could, I give him, and the workout that comes with him, an 8. I definitely liked how simple and small the movements were she asked us to do. I also loved that the same small movements I did caused the good kind of post-workout soreness I love. The muscles were worked! I didn’t have to make a lot of room in my living room, which rocks considering I live in L.A. where a small box can cost you an arm, a leg and a shoe. I did have a problem putting air in the little fellow, though. I didn’t know if I was putting enough and then when I had it done at my gym, I felt like it was too much air. Damn ball thinks it’s Goldilocks!
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The bender ball’s ability to produce earthquake belly shakes made me a fan. Especially when I figured out I couldn’t even do some of the workouts. Try the exercise where you lie flat on your back and balance your feet on the ball while lifting your pelvis up. Sound easy? Hmph! Try it and let me know how well you fared.—Tish