The fit ball is a great aid to developing your overall training regime in many ways.

It will give you a real challenge in the gym or at home and help you to develop you balance, awareness in space, muscle co-ordination and core postural strength.

It will also remind you of when you were a child.

The fit ball has such great versatility you can take your training programme on holiday.

The following exercises will give you a start to a programme of exercises I will be bringing you in the coming weeks. I will also be giving you some great tips on using a fit ball to maximum effect.

Exercise One: Abdominal Crunch The main aim should be to keep the ball steady and use the muscles of the stomach and back to keep the ball in position. Keep the feet flat on the floor throughout the abdominal movement. The crunch should start with the hips placed on the surface of the ball. Lift the shoulders and perform a stomach curl, which will use the main front abdominals.

Exercise Two: Plank This is a great exercise for developing and maintaining healthy postural muscles but it should only be used if you have experience in a variety of stomach and back exercises and are well conditioned in the postural area. The ball should be used to make the normal "plank" exercise harder by reducing stability and forcing the stomach and back muscles to work harder to maintain the body position. Place the stomach on to the ball and slowly move forwards until only the shins are on it. If you need to make the exercise easier, only role forward until the knees are resting on the ball. The forearms should be placed on the floor as you role forward. Use the stomach to hold the position.

Paul's Tip: The fit ball needs to be used with care. You should consult your GP before starting an exercise programme.

Report by Paul Simmons,