The Best Pieces of Core Strength and Stability Gear for Better Balance

Amazon Basics’ Medicine Ball is the clear top choice for its versatility

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A strong core makes it easier to engage in day-to-day tasks such as getting out of bed or bending down to pick up a dropped item, or even during exercise itself. Core strengthening exercises can also minimize the chance of injury and improve balance and stability.

Reviewed & Approved

The Amazon Basics Medicine Ball offers most of the benefits of an inflatable exercise ball, but at a fraction of the size. And if you do have room to spare, opt for the Bosu Balance Trainer, which allows for a high user weight and is reversible.

"Your core connects your lower and upper body; it helps support your spine, pelvis, ribcage, neck and head, while also offering support and protection for your organs in your abdomen," says Erica Ziel, certified Pilates instructor and deep core exercise specialist. She continues, "Without proper core strength and stability, people tend to experience poor posture and shallow breathing, back and neck pain, sciatica, and pelvic floor dysfunction (just to name a few things)."

If improving your core strength is a fitness goal of yours, workout gear tailored to strength and stability can upgrade your exercises, improve your form, and add a challenging component to your strength and stability routine. As you evaluate the options, keep in mind factors like versatility, effectiveness, and specific needs. You may prefer a piece of equipment that can be used to target abs plus other areas. Or you may be exercising for overall health or even rebuilding strength after an injury. To find the top products that will provide you with the most benefits, we researched a variety of items that can help you achieve your goals.

Based on our research, here are the best pieces of core strength and stability gear on the market.

Amazon Basics Medicine Ball

4.7
Amazon Basics Medicine Ball
Pros
  • Multiple weight options

  • Textured surface for grip

Cons
  • May smell when first unboxing

Using a medicine ball in conjunction with your regular workout can help you improve both strength and stability. We agreed that Amazon Basics' Medicine Ball is our top choice due to its versatility and its high ratings. Whether you use it to strengthen your core, arms, or glutes, or during seated, standing, or static movements—the choice is yours. And whether you're recovering from an injury or used to advanced workouts, this medicine ball is fitting for low-impact and high-intensity exercises alike.

The Amazon Basics Medicine Ball features a firm rubber shell that's textured to improve grip. While it has a little give (allowing it to bounce off of hard surfaces during exercises like Medicine Ball Slams), it's sturdy enough to bear weight if you're rolling out your muscles or using it for stability moves.

Depending on your fitness level, you can choose between five weights—4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-pound options. You can also opt for a package deal that allows you to purchase your medicine ball alongside a dumbbell for even more workout versatility. We particularly love that the medicine ball is an effective core strengthener while still being more small space-friendly than equipment like inflatable exercise balls or ab machines.

Bosu Balance Trainer

4.8
Bosu Balance Trainer

Amazon

Pros
  • Pump and workouts included

  • High maximum user weight

  • Durable base

Cons
  • Bulky and heavy

  • Expensive

While the BOSU Balance Trainer may be the most expensive piece of equipment on our list, we find it worth the investment as it's easily incorporated into your workout routine—especially for working the core and stabilizer muscles. It has a spherical, rubber side (similar to that of an exercise ball) which is ideal for beginner balancing moves, but also has a hard base that can be used to take core stability exercises up a notch—for planks and pushups, for example. The half ball can hold up to 300 pounds.

Thanks to its solid composition and durability, you should feel comfortable using the Bosu ball for a variety of exercises, including squats and crunches. It's super versatile and can be used during cardio workouts, strength training, balance practices, and more, in addition to core work.

For advanced users, pairing this BOSU Balance Ball with other equipment, like resistance bands or dumbbells, can add even more intensity. Your purchase includes a pump to speed up assembly and downloadable BOSU ball workouts for users of all levels.

SPRI Elite Xercise Balance Ball

SPRI exercise balls
Amazon
Pros
  • Come in multiple sizes

  • Made with durable PVC material

Cons
  • Not easy to transport

  • Doesn't include a pump

Versatile and simple to use, an exercise ball is a great choice for your home gym for exercises like ball walks and hip lifts, among many others. While it's among some of our pricier options, we think the Elite Xercise Balance Ball is worth the splurge. It's crafted with high-quality PVC and, despite the space it takes up when inflated, it can be deflated for easy storage.

Perfect for flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination, this ball will help you add a challenging dimension to basic crunches and pushups. And thanks to its high weight capacity (it holds up to 500 pounds), wall thickness, and slow-deflate mechanics, it can handle high-stress loads without safety concerns.

Aside from workouts for core and balance, it can also be incorporated into yoga routines or even prenatal exercises, so you can be sure you're paying for versatility. Keep in mind that a pump isn't included, so you'll need to provide your own in order to assemble the exercise ball.

The Balance Ball comes in three sizes—45, 55, and 75 centimeters—so you can choose the best one depending on your height.

Trigger Point Performance GRID 1.0 Foam Roller

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Amazon

Pros
  • Very portable

  • Foam holds up over time

  • Grid patten for varied massage options

Cons
  • May be too soft for some

  • May be too short for some

A foam roller may not strike you as a piece of core exercise equipment, as it's typically used pre- and post-workout for massaging, loosening tight muscles, and reducing soreness. However, it can still be used to rehab common injuries and even for improving balance, flexibility, and strength, though more research is still needed. After all, if surrounding muscles are too tight, you'll have a harder time performing exercises to strengthen and stabilize your core.

The only foam roller that made our list, crafted with foam and a solid core, the Trigger Point Performance Foam Roller is covered in firm nubs that can dig deep into sore muscles. But don't be fooled—it's still soft enough to use without irritation. If you're looking to improve your strength, you can also use it as a balancing tool to make exercises like pushups or planks more challenging.

Weighing 1.5 pounds, we love that it's easily packed into your gym bag or suitcase for on-the-go use. And despite its compact size, it supports weight loads up to 500 pounds.

SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands
Amazon
Pros
  • Multiple resistance options

  • Made with durable rubber

  • Padded foam handles for comfort

Cons
  • Only one band per purchase

  • Weight equivalent per band may not be 100% accurate

Resistance bands are great for the core and stabilizer muscles because they require the use of both large and smaller muscle groups throughout every part of the exercise. In order to use a resistance band effectively, you will have to recruit more muscle fibers to keep good form and to keep the band moving smoothly.

SPRI Xertube's Resistance Bands are the most budget-friendly item on our list and ideal for core strengthening workouts. Use them for anti-rotation exercises like the pallof press or to add resistance to total core exercises, like the bird dog.

These bands are crafted with durable rubber tubes and come equipped with padded foam handles for extra comfort. For added versatility, you can even slip your feet into the handles for both standing and sit-down workouts.

The greatest part about this option is that they can be used for a total-body workout—use them for squats, overhead presses, pilates routines, and more. They offer resistance similar to that of dumbbells, in a much lighter and more portable size. We like that you can choose from five resistance levels—from very light to ultra heavy—depending on your fitness level (or get more than one for added versatility). Each resistance band also comes with a door anchor that makes exercise like lat pulldowns and kickbacks easier to execute.

URBNFit Exercise Ball

URBNFit Exercise Ball

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Pump included

  • Non-slip surface

  • Workout guide included

Cons
  • May not inflate to the correct size

  • May need to size up

URBNFit's Exercise Ball is the cheapest of the two exercise balls on our list, and offers more options, with ten colors and five sizes to choose from. The exercise ball is designed for users of all levels and body shapes. It's made with quality PVC to prevent bursts and quick wear, and it can also hold up to 600 pounds of weight, which should make you comfortable performing a variety of exercises.

While it doesn't offer a slow-deflate design or as thick or durable of a material as the SPRI Elite Balance Ball, we like that it's a budget-friendlier option and includes a pump. And thanks to its accessible workout guide, you can learn new exercises to complete balance, strength, flexibility, and stability moves.

Trideer Inflated Wobble Cushion

4.7
Trideer Inflated Wobble Cushion

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Pump included

  • Textured surface promotes pressure relief and grip

  • Easy to inflate

Cons
  • May be too thin for some

Want to work on the stability and strength of your core in your day to day? Simply sit on this wobble cushion while you work at your desk or watch TV to activate your core and take the pressure off of your lower back and tailbone. You can also use this wobble cushion, also known as stability disc, to add a balance challenge to exercises like bicycle crunches, squats, situps, planks, and more.

We recommend this tool if you prioritize budget and portability, as its one of the most space-friendly and affordable core training tools on our list. The cushion can be deflated for storage or easy carrying, and the included pump ensures you can bring it anywhere.

The 13.4-inch disc can hold up to 450 pounds, and it's covered with a non-slip, textured surface that reduces pressure and feels comfortable—whether you sit or stand on it. Thanks to its 12-month warranty, you can make sure it works for your lifestyle before committing to it. While it's only offered in one size, it comes in a variety of colors.

ProBody Pilates Ring

4.8
Probody Pilates Ring

Amazon

Pros
  • Carrying pouch included

  • Padded for comfort

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Ring may attract dirt

  • No instructions included

  • Resistance may be too easy for advanced fitness levels

Your core is made up of a cluster of muscles and muscle groups, not just your abs, and If you want a strong core, you need to work on strengthening your glutes, lower back, and pelvic floor muscles. Incorporating a Pilates ring into your routine is a great way to strengthen this area of your body. This tension-packed ring from ProBody can be used to add intensity to exercises like glute bridges, standing leg presses, crunches, and more.

Ideal if you want some resistance but prefer not to use weights, you can hold the ring between or just outside of your hands, thighs, and ankles. It offers a great way to add intensity to common bodyweight moves in order to prevent a training plateau.

We like that it has a non-slip texture for your sweatiest workouts. It measures 14-inches in diameter, which is standard for most Pilates rings. The ring is made with a composite interior and laminate exterior—materials that are lighter than other options on our list. The padded hand and leg grips on the ring are an added bonus that'll make exercises more comfortable to perform.

The ring also includes a carrying bag, allowing you to take it with you to the studio, park, or gym—all at a budget-friendly price.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a versatile piece of equipment that can be incorporated into a variety of stability and core workouts, we recommend Amazon Basic's Medicine Ball. It's made with a durable, textured rubber shell that's built to last, and comes in five different weight options.

Another good choice is the Xertube Resistance Bands set from SPRI. Compact and lightweight, the resistance bands are easy to transport. Thanks to the quality of the rubber tubes and padded handles, they'll comfortably help you recruit more core muscles during a variety of both upper and lower body exercises.

How We Selected the Best Pieces of Core Strength and Stability Gear

We selected the best pieces of core strength and stability gear by reviewing top products and bestsellers from more than a dozen trusted retailers and selecting the top ones based on our expert input and customer reviews.

Since core strength training doesn’t look the same for everyone, we looked for a variety of equipment, taking into account the pros and cons of each piece. When selecting core strength and stability equipment, we prioritized versatility, effectiveness, portability, and comfort. We made sure to include a mix of items that would suit different fitness levels, needs, and preferences. 

What to Look for in Core Strength and Stability Gear

Versatility

If you are interested in general core strength and stability, look for gear that you can use in a variety of ways. This will help you target the entire core more effectively with several types of movements and exercises. Many pieces of core strength and stability gear—such as medicine balls, resistance bands, and foam rollers—can also be used to work other body parts, increasing their value and giving you more bang for your buck.

Effectiveness

There are many pieces of core strength and stability gear that look good on paper but don't actually challenge your core as much as you'd like in reality. While fancy ab machines may seem enticing, when it comes to working on the strength and stability of your core, getting back to the basics is often most effective.

That's why we prioritized simple core equipment, like exercise balls, resistance bands, and wobble cushions for our guide—this equipment is easy to use and highly portable for more versatility. "As one is able to feel their core engaging correctly and becoming stronger, then they can begin incorporating equipment such as a soft exercise ball for ab lift exercises, exercise bands for Pilates-infused exercises, and kettlebells for kettlebells swings—which do more than just strengthen your core," recommends Ziel.

Specific Needs

If you have specific needs, such as rehabbing an injury or a weak core, choose core strength and stability gear tailored to your goals and circumstance. "The weaker one's core, the lighter the resistance they would want to use," notes Ziel. "I would start them without any equipment doing small range of motion core exercises. Part of strengthening the core comes down to getting the right muscles and connections through the core (including from the base of the pelvis) to activate. It's more important to learn the right techniques to strengthening their core rather than just working to increase the weight or equipment for core exercises," she says.

For instance, balance discs can address fundamental core stability concerns, while a BOSU ball may be better suited to an already fit person looking to take their core strength to the next level.

You should also select gear based on the type of core exercises that you like the most. If you enjoy Pilates, a Pilates ring may be the optimal piece of core training equipment for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is core strength important?

    While a strong core is often desired for its visual effect, your core is essential for many functional movements. For the everyday person, it means more ease in bending, twisting, reaching, and throwing. For an athlete, a strong core often means better performance.

    A strong core is especially important in providing stability and protection for your spine. A strong core can better protect the spine and decrease the risk of spine and back injury in everyday life. Additionally, strong ab muscles work to maintain correct posture, prevent lower back pain, and prevent potential pain all over the body.


  • How long does it take to strengthen your core?

    The time it takes to strengthen your core varies from individual to individual and depends on your current fitness level. Each time you properly train your core, you can gain strength, and every workout counts when done effectively. If you are consistent, you can expect to see significant strength gains in as little as four weeks of core training, according to a 2018 study.

    Ziel recommends one to train their core strength and stability everyday, noting, "By this, I don’t mean to go do a hardcore ab workout, but rather, bring awareness to how your core is working when you do any exercise, or are standing, carrying something, etc. If our core isn’t working correctly, then our body can cheat by using other muscles instead."

  • Why is core stability important?

    Core stability (and stability in general) is important, especially as you age because it is essential for preventing injuries. If you want to bear any loads such as a barbell or grocery bags or even to safely climb a flight of stairs, improving your stability will help you do so safely.

    When you reach optimal core stability, you'll be able to brace your core while moving your limbs, which may also help you increase the load you can safely bear. Your core—including your back, sides, and glutes—needs to be able to stiffen and brace while you move your spine, or it may buckle or become strained and injured.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Tori Zhou, the associate commerce editor for Verywell, enjoys staying up-to-date on wellness trends and products, with a focus on holistic health. She’s tested everything from yoga mats and massagers to dumbbells and heating pads. 

Additional reporting by Megan Foster.

Megan Foster is a seasoned commerce writer and former college athlete. She prioritizes health and fitness in her daily life, and she's always looking for a new effective workout routine or fitness product to share with her readers. Megan regularly uses core strength and stability gear while working out in the gym or at home. Leaning on research and customer reviews, she evaluated these picks to narrow down reliable products.

Additional reporting by Paige Waehner.

Along with being a certified personal trainer for more than 16 years, Paige Waehner, ACE-CPT, is the co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness" and author of the e-book "Guide to Becoming a Personal Trainer." Paige has written articles for Desert Paradise, Pregnancy Magazine, Runner's World, and many other websites, newsletters, and magazines.

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