Expert-recommended buys for a buff core.
✱ COREBODY REFORMER: This firm, six-inch diameter foam log with a pulley system (shown above) creates the ultimate challenge for your core—the back, hips, butt and abs. Many exercises require balancing while you sit or kneel on the foam roller while performing moves using the pulley. At $249, this product is an investment, but it’s a total-body workout tool you can easily stash away when you’re not using. Available at Corebodyreformer.com.
✱ WEIGHTED HULA HOOP: Not only does hula hooping give your heart rate a serious boost, but it also targets your core in a big way. “Weighted hoops add even more challenge in the form of resistance, plus increase the number of calories you’re burning,” says Dr. Michele Olson, professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala. Available at Walmart and online at Canyonhoops.com starting at $20.
✱ VALSLIDE: Using these slippery discs under your feet or hands while doing push- ups requires your ab and back muscles to work extra hard to keep your body in position, says Olson. Valslide discs also add oomph to moves like lunges because they target your muscles through their entire range of motion. Available at Valslide.com for $25 and up.