Do You Have Good Balance? Here's How to Tell
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.