If you’ve ever felt intimidated about trying a new fitness class, you’re not alone. But that shouldn’t stop you for going, says SoulCycle instructor and Women’s Health‘s Next Fitness Star finalist Selena Watkins.
“You have to step out of your comfort zone,” Watkins says. “And then once you start [going to a new class], you see the changes in yourself, you enjoy the camaraderie, you feel the energy of the people with you. The hardest step is always the first.”
We couldn’t agree more. With that in mind, here’s a workout from Watkins with the perfect blend of comfort-zone moves you know (crunches) paired with ones that will push you a bit (pikes). Just grab a stability ball (the one below is 65 centimeters) to get started.
How to use this list
Do each of the moves below for the indicated number of reps. Repeat the entire circuit 2 to 3 times and up to 7 days per week.
1. Stability Ball Crunch
Sit on ball and walk feet out until knees are bent to 90 degrees and ball supports lower back. Place right fingertips behind right ear and left fingertips on floor for balance. Engage core and crunch up and to the left, lifting left knee to touch right elbow. Next do a center crunch with fingertips behind both ears. Finally, repeat on the other side, with left fingertips behind left ear and right fingertips on floor for balance. Lift right knee as you bring left elbow to touch right knee. Do 20 reps of each crunch.
2. Stability Ball Back Extension
You’ll need a wall for this move. Start facedown with torso supported by ball, knees slightly bent, and soles of feet pressing lightly against wall for balance. Bend arms into goalpost position (elbows at 90 degrees), engage core, and lift up, bringing back toward wall. Use upper back muscles; you should feel no pressure in low back. Lower arms and torso to return to starting position. Do 15 to 20 reps. Make it harder: Hold 3- to 5-pound dumbbells in each hand.
3. Stability Ball Supine Abs
Lie faceup with legs extended and hold ball in hands overhead. Simultaneously bring arms and legs to meet, transfer ball to legs while squeezing ball between feet, and then lower limbs, tapping ball to floor. Transfer ball back to hands to complete 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
4. Stability Ball Pike
Start in a facedown position with feet supported by ball and arms extended so you are in a modified high plank. Engage core and pull ball toward chest with straight legs, piking hips high. Keep wrists under shoulders so you are in a supported handstand at pike. Slowly roll ball away from torso to return to starting position. Do 15 to 20 reps.Make it easier: Do stability ball tucks instead. From the same starting position, pull ball toward torso by bending knees and maintaining level hips.
5. Stability Ball Push-Up
Start in the same position as the last move: high plank with feet on ball. From here, do a push-up by engaging core, bending arms, and lowering chest toward floor. Extend arms to return to starting position. Do as many as you can or 15 to 20 reps. Make it easier: Rest shins or thighs on the ball, instead of feet. The closer ball is to hips, the easier this move will be.