Living with Harmony ~ A Blog for your Mind & Body

Toning Balls: Add to Pilates, Yoga, and Exercises

Posted in Core/Fitness,Dumbells/Grip Weights,How-To,Pilates,Toning Balls,Yoga by Harmony on September 16, 2010

The soft, weighted Toning Balls that we carry are 2 lbs each and are sold as a pair.  They are manufactured by Natural Fitness and are made with the environmentally friendly phthalate-free vinyl.  The size and texture of toning balls make them easy to grip and can improve your hand and finger strength as well.

The following exercises could also be done with hand held weights – such as our neoprene dumbbell weight set, that offers weights from 2lbs to 5lbs for those looking to up their weights in these exercises.

Another way to increase the intensity of the workouts below (without increasing the weight) is to up the repetitions or the number of sets.  Or, if you know an intermediate or advanced level of the exercise or pose, try that while using the weights.  For example, if you practice yoga and are familiar with a “Blowing Tree”, you could perform this variation while holding the weights as well.  Feel free to experiment, but pay attention to your body!

Toning Ball Workout

by Denise Wang ~


Toning balls are a popular accessory to a variety of different exercise routines, including Yoga, Pilates and basic calisthenics. Toning balls are an alternative to hand held dumbbells or weights and are made of a soft vinyl material. Toning balls come in weights between 1.1 pounds and 5.5 pounds per ball and are held in the open palm with a gentle grip. For light weight training and as added resistance to popular Yoga and Pilates exercises, the balls also help individuals with balance, coordination and flexibility. Performing a 20 to 30 minute workout with toning balls adds interest and effectiveness to any exercise routine.

Step 1 – General

Utilize weighted toning balls to work arms, shoulders and upper torso strength and flexibility. Toning balls are popularly used in Yoga and Pilates workouts by balancing them in the palm of the hand for added resistance or muscle toning exercises. Adding even a slight weight resistance to such poses as Warrior’s Pose, Tree pose and basic calisthenic or isometric exercises like jumping jacks, shoulder raises and arm circles is helpful.

Step 2

Work the arms by holding a ball gently in each hand, arms at your sides. Start with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Using a 1 to 2 pound ball, lift both arms above the head, pause and then lower. Repeat this exercise between 12 and 15 times, repeating the set twice.

Step 3

Stand with the feet just over shoulder width apart. Tuck in the abdominal muscles and, holding a ball in each hand, bend slowly forward at the waist until your back is level or parallel to the floor, arms hanging downward. Holding the stomach in and looking downward, extend your arms outward. Raise the arms until they are level with your torso, even with the shoulders and hold. Count to 5 and then slowly lower to the original position. Repeat this exercise between 10 and 15 times. Repeat this set two times.

Step 4

When performing a Pilates Criss Cross, hold a light pair of toning balls in the hands near the side of the head instead of clasping the hands behind the head. Lie down on the floor, legs bent and lifted above your hips. Tuck in the abdominal muscles and lift the head and shoulders off the floor. Extend one leg out while the other pulls in toward your chest. Switch legs, pushing the opposite leg outward while bringing the other knee toward your chest.

Step 5

Hold onto a light set of toning balls when performing Yoga moves like the Tree Pose. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Gradually shift most of your weight to the right foot and bend your left knee, lifting and resting your left foot along the inside of the right leg. Beginners may only be able to place the foot at ankle or calf level. Balancing, lift the arms over the head, keeping them either shoulder width apart or bringing the hands together high above the head, depending on your balance, comfort and strength level. Hold this position for 1 minute, rest a few moments and then switch sides.

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