Balance Pod strength-training tools are similar to the balance half-balls at the gym, but a smart, spiky design adds extra traction. They're great for building core strength and can make simple yoga poses more challenging. ACE certified trainer, Debi Pillarella, MEd, shows us four simple moves.
Before you get started: Beginners should begin with the pods arranged dome side up. To make any move more challenging, flip the pod dome side down. To figure out how long you should hold a pose or do a drill, time yourself once—that's your baseline. In the next set, aim to hold the pose 10 percent longer. (So if your baseline was 20 seconds, try for 22 seconds in the next session.) Try to do three sets with a minute rest in between.

Yoga fitness pod move

Move 1: Tree Pose

Make this basic yoga pose more challenging by standing on top of a balance pod. Start with your foot positioned just above your ankle. If this placement is too easy, move your foot up to your inner thigh. Once you've mastered this, incorporate your arms: begin with your hands in a prayer position, in front of your chest; if you want to increase the intensity, lift them above your head. Repeat on other side.

Fitness pod altrenating arm and leg lifts
Photo: Oliva Barr

Start on all fours, with a pod beneath each knee. Make sure to align your hips directly above your knees and your shoulders above your wrists. Lift your right arm and left leg. Hold for five seconds; return to starting position. Next, lift your left arm and right leg; hold for five seconds.
Balance pod hopscotch fitness move
Photo: Olivia Barr

Set the pods up in a classic hopscotch pattern: one pod, two pods, one, two. Step with your right foot onto the first single pod. Hop with both feet onto next two pods. Then, step onto the next single pod with your left foot, and finish by hopping both feet on to two pods. Jump off; turn around; repeat.
Balance pod football drill move
Photo: Olivia Barr

Line the pods up in three rows of two in front of you. Then think of high-school football players at practice: You want to imitate that stutter-step thing they do. Start by putting your right foot on the first right pod; quickly move your left foot to the first left pod. Move your right foot to the next right pod, and your left foot quickly to the next left pod; continue until you've completed the rows. Turn around and repeat.

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