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The Baltimore Sun

Working the core

Valeo Tanker 5>25: A two-handled, hard plastic, adjustable-weight, 13-by-9 1/2 -inch medicine ball that you can fill with sand or water. Empty, it weighs 5 pounds; filled, 17.5 pounds (water) and 28 pounds (sand). Likes: Unique, all-body strength/flexibility workout or warmup -- similar to SmartBells, but with more challenge and less comfort and fluidity. Combines a two-fisted grip with the bulk of a kettle bell, then adds an internal side-to-side sloshing of water or sand that forces your core to work harder to stabilize the load. The range of weights will satisfy everyone from novices to Adonises. (The 17.5-pounder worked me well.) Several unusual core- and coordination-building exercises are possible, including cross-body chops, golf swings, even push-ups. The DVD's dozen instructional exercises make a solid 12-minute workout. Includes an exercise wall chart (that oddly includes only eight of the above exercises). Dislikes: The DVD isn't long enough and lacks a true workout routine (you have to double up on the 12-minute instructions). Beware: You may stub your toe on the rock-like plastic, and the wrench used to cinch the cap tight will be easy to lose. Price: $49.99. (800) 634-2704; www.valeofit.com. Valeo
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