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Exercises For Better Balance

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Can't stand on one foot without falling? You need this series from Self in your life.

This no-equipment-needed series, created by Dylan Schenk of Cross Train studio in Hollywood, targets potential imbalances that, over time, can lead to pain and injury. Try adding it to your warm-up three to four times a week. Plus, see Danai Gurira's secrets to a balanced body.

Overhead Squat

Tests: Range of motion in the hips, back and shoulders

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a light bar overhead (a yoga strap or broomstick works). Bend knees and sit back to squat, keeping body upright.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, aiming to get hips below parallel without leaning forward.

Single-Leg Lift

Tests: Glutes and core strength; balance

Try It: Balancing on right leg, bend knee gently as you hinge forward and reach left hand to floor in front of right foot. Then stand up.

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Ace It: Do 10 reps without losing your balance or, even better, without wavering. Repeat on opposite side.

Alternating Plank Lift

Tests: Core strength

Try It: Do a plank on forearms and toes. Lift right arm and left leg; extend, then lower them.

Ace It: Do 10 reps per side, alternating sides, imagining that you're balancing a full glass of water on your lower back. Keep your torso stationary so that the glass doesn't spill.

Single-Leg Bridge

Tests: Core, back and hip strength

Try It: Lie on back, arms at sides, knees bent, feet flat. Lift left foot, knee bent 90 degrees. Lift hips; pause, then lower.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, keeping hips level instead of dipping them as you lift and lower. Repeat on opposite side.

Shoulder Stretch

Tests: Shoulder and chest mobility

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Reach right arm up, left arm down. Bend elbows behind back, reaching fingertips toward each other in middle of upper back.

Ace It: Hold for 30 seconds, working to clasp your hands together. Repeat on opposite side.

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