Pump it up
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Pump it up

Staying on base

Everlast For Her Pilates Inflatable Ball, Base and Adjustable Tubing: Conventional ball that sits atop a base, which has stretch cords attached.

Likes: Two-way pump inflates the ball quickly; four-section plastic base snaps together in seconds. Allows for moderate-intensity chest flys, triceps extensions, lateral stretches, knee extensions and leg abductions.

Dislikes: The base must be used for cord exercises, so some desirable exercises are off limits, such as a seated, ground-floor row with the ball against the soles of your feet. Also, the base tends to slide around on noncarpeted floors.

Price: $25.99; http://www.amazon.com()
Where you can harness the power

Gaiam BalanceBall Resistance Kit: An add-on harness and stretch cords that fit over any brand of inflatable fitness ball.

Likes: If you have a ball already, this saves you as much as $20. Includes an excellent workout DVD.

Dislikes: Putting on the harness is a minor hassle for a few minutes.

Price: $19.99; http://www.target.com()
Smaller but just as effective

uni-BODI Ball: Innovative, compact sphere with a single, dual-handled stretch cord running through a hollow plastic axel in the center.

Likes: Cord exercises feel extremely stable because of the solid anchoring. Three cord lengths allow for different exercise and resistance levels. Small size (16 inches high — about 4 inches shorter than popular 65-millimeter fitness balls) is easier to store than others and does not seem to inhibit effectiveness. Can also be used as a regular, cordless ball. Accordian-like palm pump provides fastest inflation of the bunch. Large, well-illustrated exercise chart included.

Dislikes: The hard plastic portals of the cord channel can jab you if you don’t center your body during noncord exercises.

Price: $79.99. (888) 348-2634; http://www.unibodi.com()
Right on the ring

Danskin Core Ball Plus: Ball with built-in loops for attaching stretch cords; sits in an inflatable stability ring.

Likes: Use of the ring limits ball movement, a benefit for beginners, and can be removed to increase the difficulty as you improve. Workout exercise poster included.

Dislikes: The thin-walled cord tubing, like that of the other models reviewed here, may offer too little resistance to satisfy fit men and women looking for a strength workout, unless you foreshorten the cord to increase resistance.

Price: $39.99. (800) 704-5561; http://www.danskinfitness.com()