Everyday tasks like carrying groceries, running after your kids or grandkids, and even getting out of your car all take core strength and balance. It's important to have a strong core and good balance not only to feel more nimble, but also to lower your risk of falling and getting injured.
(Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up for FREE to get healthy living tips, weight loss inspiration, slimming recipes and more delivered straight to your inbox!)
If you would like to improve your balance and sculpt your core muscles, try to do the workout below 2-3 times a week, in addition to your regular workout routine. We will be combining some moves to challenge your stability and brainpower. Try to flow from one exercise to the next and aim for 6-8 repetitions of each.
Quadruped Leg and Arm Reaches
- Kneel on all fours with your spine long and your core tight. Without sinking into your hips or shifting from side to side, reach your right arm out in front of you and your left leg out behind you. Hold here for a few seconds.
- Bring everything back down onto the mat and then switch to the other side. Try to keep your spine from hyperextending or rounding and really think about lengthening the body, reaching through the fingers and toes.
Standing Single Leg Spine Twist
- Stand tall on both feet and carefully reach one leg out in front of you—it doesn’t have to be high off the floor. Reach your arms out to the sides and pull your core in.
- Twist your spine and rotate toward the leg that is lifted, pulsing in this direction three times. Make sure you are breathing and reaching the whole time, and aim for true rotation by keeping those hips still as you twist!
- Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Trainer Tip: If standing on a single leg is too hard, then try this move with both feet on the ground first, and then work up to one leg.
Plank to Arabesque
- Find a strong plank position with your legs hip-distance apart.
- In one movement, bring your hips up and lift one leg up long behind you. Hold here momentarily. Your arms will be working in this move, too! You can either keep your hips squared under your shoulders or open the hip for a little stretch.
- Return to your start position and repeat on the other side.
Plank to Bent Leg
- Find that strong plank again with your legs hip-distance apart.
- Bend one leg up until your foot reaches the outside of your knee in a turned out position. Hold here for a little bit, and try not to rock your hips side to side or sink into your shoulders.
- Slide the leg back down and repeat on the other side.
Open Leg Rocker
- Just getting into your start position is tricky for this one, and a nice hamstring stretch. Balance on your sits bones using your core, grasp your ankles, and hold here for a few seconds. If you cannot hold onto your ankles, try for your calves or behind the knees.
- Roll backward using your core to control the movement, then maintain that control to come back to starting position at the top. Pause here. When rolling back, stay scooped so you don’t roll into your neck. Don’t overthink this one and just go for it! Rolling is not only great balance and core work, but also super fun and a great way to massage the spine.
First published: 10 Jan 2018