Sunday, May 5, 2013

Call Me a Convert … Core Ball Review and Giveaway

Stability Ball… Exercise Ball… Swiss Ball… Balance Ball…Core Ball…

Are you a fan? 

Well I am now

But I haven’t always been, that’s for sure.

I have been intrigued by these fitness balls and the various exercises that people do with them for years… I look at the pictures, and read the writeups… and I even had one for a couple of months at one point.

There is a corner in our laundry room at the marina where people leave things that they no longer want or need.  Not junk; the items are in good shape or even brand new.  There are always books and magazines there, and occasionally household items and even sealed food stuffs. I have left lots of things there over the years and picked up some things, too.  

One day I went in and found a colorful new, unopened package that contained a lovely lavender-colored deflated stability ball, a hand pump, and a yoga block.

That particular winter we were spending about 5 months in a lovely little cottage overlooking Admiralty Inlet towards Whidby Island in Washington State.   And since we were leaving the boat to drive there the next day, I tossed that package of goodies into the car and took it along with us.  I would never have had enough room on the boat for the inflated fitness ball and thought that the large open living area in the cottage would afford me ample space to work with it.

Well, I did try it out a few times, but never got comfortable on it, and our precocious English Spring Spaniel, Scout, decided that she liked it more than I did.  She just would not leave it alone, so I deflated it after a few days and when we got back to the marina in the Spring, I replaced the whole package in the laundry room exchange corner.  (And I should probably add that I have only very recently become familiar with using a yoga block… who knew how helpful they can be?)

Since then I have been tempted occasionally to get another fitness ball.  I certainly have more room in the apartment now than I did on the boat, not only to exercise with one of these large stability balls, but to store it as well.    I know that many trainers suggest their clients work with them, and there were a few in different sizes lying around the open exercise area in the gym I recently attended.  The Boot Camp I am currently enrolled in makes a lot of use of the stability ball… so imagine my great delight when I was given the opportunity by Empower Fitness to try out one of their Core Balls.

They come in 2 sizes… and you should select one based on your height.  I opted for their largest ball.  It is 65 cm and a lovely pale green color.  I am 5’ 11” tall and their information suggests that if you are under 5’ 6” you should order the 55 cm ball.  It’s a pretty grey, by the way.

I was really excited when the ball arrived…. it came in a neat little box…

Apr 23 Core Ball 001

Apr 23 Core Ball 002

Apr 23 Core Ball 003

Apr 23 Core Ball 004

and a DVD.

Of course I opened the box immediately and The Captain offered to inflate the Core Ball with the hand pump that was included.  I asked him to put as much air in it as he could.  And then  I got distracted and didn’t get back to it for a couple of days.

When I decided to give the ball a try, I sat on it and loaded up the DVD that came along in the package.

Apr 27 Core Ball 001

And I almost fell off of it right on my butt!  There was way too  much air in the ball, and as I viewed the DVD and watched trainer Gin Miller teaching her student, April, the exercises that they would be doing in the workout, I started letting air out of the ball, just a bit at a time.  And I did that several times until I finally was pleased with the soft and bouncy shape beneath me.

Gin (who is a fun and energetic on-screen trainer – years ago I had some of her STEP workouts) suggests that when you sit on the ball with your spine in a neutral position, your butt should be slightly lower than your knees.

May 1 Core Ball 001 (2)\
I watched the DVD, trying each of the exercises as they were demonstrated, and then did the workout with Gin and April. Honestly, I could not do the whole workout the first time through… but that’s okay cause I have something to work toward now.  But I did really enjoy it and could feel that I had given my abs a good workout.  (Even more so the next day.)

If you would like to have a look at a clip from that video, it can be found  here on the top line, 3rd from the left and it is titled Slim & Trim Exercise Core Ball Workout.

The DVD has a fun, dancey, 80’s style aerobic bonus workout on it, also led by Gin  Miller.  It is something that might be fun to get out on a rainy day to lift my dragging spirits a bit.  Nothing to do with the Core Ball, but included just as an extra if you want to do some cardio along with your Core Ball workout.

I have used the ball a few more times and am very slowly getting more comfortable on it.  I have to say though, that I think they should be called INstability balls…  I have started using it in some of my Best Body Boot Camp workouts for things like incline chest flyes and incline chest presses and am starting to master the balance it requires to use the ball properly and effectively.  But I have lots of work yet to do…. and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

Would you like to have an Empower Fitness Core Ball of your own?  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway.

There is one mandatory entry to be completed:
  • Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite exercise that uses the Core Ball.

There are several ways to earn additional entries:
  • Check out the Empower Fitness web site and tell me the name of another product you might like to try
  • Like my FB page for eat run sail
  • Subscribe to my blog posts by email
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Tweet about the giveaway

    All entries will be verified... any not done correctly will be discarded.
This giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents.  The winner will have their choice of a 55 cm or 65 cm Core Ball, and it will be shipped directly to them from Empower Fitness.

The giveaway will end on Monday, May 13th at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  I will select the winner and attempt to contact them by email on Tuesday, May 14th. If I have not had an reply email claiming the prize by 11:59 p.m. by Thursday, May 16th, I will select another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Empower Fitness supplied me with the Core Ball and accessories, and is sponsoring the giveaway but the opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Just sit ups because I have a really boney butt and they hurt on the ground.

  2. I don't think I've ever used a core ball except a couple times at the gym for crunch-type exercises. It would be fun to try!

    I have one.
    I never ever used mine.

  4. Love, love, love me some stability ball! In fact, I'm pretty sure I have a couple of YouTube ball workouts for you to try Elle ;)

    I will share away (but not enter myself, as I already have 3 in my domicile...)

    (P.S. I didn't realize you were so tall!)

  5. I actually like doing knees to chest (with my feet on the ball) so much core strength and balance is needed!

  6. I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many fave exercises but most ;likely all kinds of push-ups with it! :)

  7. I'm a big fan of trying to balance on all fours on the ball (hands and knees). I had many faceplants when first attempting this!

  8. I would love a three in one kettlebell!

  9. Call me crazy but just doing old fashioned crunches on the ball is my favorite exercise!

  10. The boxing boot camp kit looks neat!

  11. I like to pike crunches using the ball!


  13. When I was at the gym I loved doing sit ups and arm workouts.

  14. Id like to try they boxing kit. I used to do Body Combat and I LOVED it!!

  15. I used the ball while I pregnant - it was a great way to get a workout when you've got a massive belly/baby in the way :) I did abdominal tilts, leg lifts with and without arms, rotating on the ball felt so good on my hips.

  16. I used it while pregnant and loved it! everything from knee lifts with and without arms, abdominal tilts and doing circles on the ball was amazing on my hips.

  17. Yep I need to be converted :) I love core balls. (stability balls)

  18. I love doing V sit up with the ball in between my legs. Great core exercise!! Although, pushups on it are super fun and hard!!!

  19. The Emower Fitness product I would love to try is the Portable Pilates Studio! It looks amazing and I love that its portable and such a great price!!! It would be a great way to introduce myself to pilates :)

  20. My very favorite exercise on the ball is hamstring curls. Love them!!

  21. Oooh I want to try the boxing bootcamp set! Looks fun:)

  22. I would like to try the portable Pilates studio !

  23. I want a ball! I love doing ball crunches!

  24. I do a lot of things with a ball and lately my fine core exercises get my 'favorite' vote. I have a really crappy ball though so this would be an awesome win!

  25. Reverse crunch!

  26. Would love to try the 3-in-1 Kettlebell!

  27. My favorite exercise is just crunches on the ball!

  28. I've never used one before! I'd love to try!

  29. Love doing hip-ups with my heels on the ball. Oh the burn!

  30. I love all ab exercises and a core ball would be perfect!

  31. I have always wanted a kettle ball. There are SO many great exercises for using one.

  32. I have never used one and i would like the 3 in one kettle bell.

  33. My favorite ball exercises are crunches!

  34. It sounds great but I don't think I have ever used a core ball except a couple times at the gym for crunch-type exercises.

    KC Sharma
    Fitness Center in Lucknow


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