Why is honing your balance so important? Quite simply, it can help prevent falls. If you have good balance, you can better navigate tricky terrain when bumping up your step count, whether you encounter an errant pothole, rocky trail, or slick puddle. An added bonus: Performing balance moves can burn more calories, since you recruit your entire core to create stability, along with smaller muscles you don’t always work.
Here are three moves to sprinkle into your workouts, walks, or even your workday, to help tone your muscles while keeping you on your feet.
Stand on your right foot, with your right knee slightly bent. Your arms should be down and in front of your body. Hinge forward from your hips, keep your back flat, and pivot down, performing a deadlift. Squeeze the right side of your glutes and right hamstrings to return to start. Perform two to three sets of 10 reps, and switch sides. For more of a challenge, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Warrior 3 Kick-Out
Stand on your right foot with your left leg lifted, and left knee bent. Reach forward with your arms, and tilt your torso forward, hinging at your hips. At the same time, extend your left leg behind you. Pivot until your torso and leg become parallel with the floor. Hold for a few breaths, and then slowly return to start. Perform two the three sets of 10 reps on each side.
One-Legged Wall Sit
Stand in front of a wall, and keeping your back pressed against it, step your legs out about two feet. Bend your knees and slide your back down the wall, until your knees are directly over your ankles, bent at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in toward your spine, to engage and stabilize your core, and extend your right leg. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, and then lower. Keeping your back pressed against the wall, and abs engaged, repeat with your left leg, alternating legs until you’ve reached one minute.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.