Why Balance Training Is As Important As Cardio
It may be the missing component to your workout.
You know balance is key to juggling work, family, and your relationships. But according to Amanda Butler, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York, it's also an oft-overlooked component to your fitness: "It's as important as cardio, strength and flexibility," she says. Improving your balance can help prevent falls, promote postural alignment, and help you be more coordinated in general. This workout, created by Butler, challenges your balance, so try it 2-3 times a week to see your stability improve.
How to do it: Perform 12 reps of each move on each side with a 20-second rest in between each move. Complete 2-3 rounds of this circuit.
1 LATERAL LUNGE TO BALANCE
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
2. Step directly out to the side with left foot and lower into a squat. Keep right leg straight.
3. Push off left foot to stand and raise knee, balancing on right leg. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch sides.
2 ONE LEG SHOULDER PRESS
1. With a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, shift weight onto left leg. Lift right foot off floor.
2. Keeping core engaged, press dumbbells over head.
3. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.
3 SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT TO BALANCE
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Shift weight onto right leg.
2. Extend left leg back as you bow forward until chest is parallel to floor.
3. Stand up and bring left knee to chest. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch sides.
4 SIDE PLANK WITH LEG LIFTS
1. Place right hand on floor and extend legs, keeping them stacked.
2. Lift and lower right leg for 12 reps.
3. Switch side
1. Start with feet hip-width apart with weight slightly on right leg.
2. Push off right leg to jump laterally over onto left leg and hold for 2 seconds.
3. Push off your left leg to jump laterally over onto the right leg and hold for 2 seconds. Repeat for 12 reps on each side.
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