By Cate Walker

Hybrids are all the craze. Hybrid cars, hybrid dogs and, now, a hybrid exercise ball. A few years ago, the Bosu ball hit the market and added a whole new dynamic to our workouts. (You know what we’re talking about: the big air-filled balls you ca do crunch – and so much more – on!). And, well, we didn’t think that it could get any better. But it has.

Recently, Bosu has added a new ball to the line-up, one that may just top the original Bosu and, trust us, that’s not easy to do (no matter how juvenile a super-strong beach ball, for all intents and purposes, might seem). This hybrid, the Bosu Ballast, is also a burst-resistant exercise ball, like its predecessor, but, unlike the traditional Bosu, the Bosu Ballast is filled with sand. Sounds simple, enough, but this new addition is actually pretty revolutionary (in a not-quite-solving-global-conflict-kind-of-way) and can totally revamp your workout.

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Sure, you can use it in the same ways that you have been using exercise balls up until now: for crunches, pushups or as a seat or bench for arm weights and more. But, with this version, you can also use it to take your workout up a notch. Try using the 6 pound ball as a weight for the ultimate toning challenge. Use the sand to help keep the ball in place while you do squats. Turn the ball from side to side to work the obliques and the entire core. Or try shaking things up—literally! – by jerking the Bosu Ballast around for a higher intensity workout that not only requires you to enagage more muscles, but also helps you to build more muscle.

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Curious? We were too! You can order a Bosu Ballast ($59.95) at  busu.com and try a variety of exercises at home like seated arm weights and leg lifts or give it a try at a Bosu Ballast class at BodyScapes Fitness in Brookline, Massachusetts. Regardless of how you get your Bosu Ballast, though, we’re confident you’ll have a blast.

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