Uncategorized, Work outs

Balance and strength routine

Apart from weight/strength training that targets specific muscle groups, I like to diversify with exercises that challenge balance and stabilize, while still improving strength and elasticity of tendons, muscles, and ligaments. This is a brief sample of some exercises I do to that end. As always, it’s best to try these without weights first, and with assistance when needed, until you master the form and develop better awareness of body kinetics.

Single-Leg Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm’s length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Raise your right leg slightly off the floor behind you. Your right leg should stay in line with your body for the duration of the move.
  2. Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise your torso back the the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with the same leg, then do the same number on your other leg. I do 3x 10 with each leg.



Single-Leg Dumbbell Straight-Leg DeadliftVariation

Assume the single legged deadlift position described above, one leg lifted behind you.

Hold this position and lift the weight in each hand toward the chest, bending to 90 degrees at the elbow, and lower again. repeat this 3×10 with each leg.

Single leg squats on a BOSU

Start by standing up tall on the round part of a Bosu on your left foot, with shoulders back, abs tight, arms by your sides, and left knee slightly bent.

Inhale as you squat back by bending at the knee and sticking your butt back as you lower. Keep your head and chest up, your eyes looking forward, and reach your right hand towards your left foot.

Be sure not to let your left knee go past your toes, and try to get your thigh parallel to the ground. Exhale as you press up through your heel to stand back up straight. Repeat all reps, then switch sides. I do 3×8 with each leg.



Lunges, back foot elevated, with a stability ball

Place one foot or shin on the stability ball behind you and jump your front leg forward enough so that when you lunge forward, your knee doesn’t pass to far in front of your toe.

Ball Lunge (Rear Foot on Stability Ball) Exercise - Step 1

Bend your front knee towards the ground and let your hip bone rotate in the socket. Keep your trunk upright and perpendicular to the floor so you don’t lean forward. Sink down as far as you can go, while allowing your rear leg to push the ball backwards- you should feel a big stretch in the back leg. Pressing through your heel of the front foot, extend your front knee to stand up again. Repeat this exercise for 3×8-12 repetitions.

Ball Lunge (Rear Foot on Stability Ball) Exercise - Step 2

Side plank with rotation
In a right-side plank position (A), brace your abs and reach your left hand toward the ceiling (B). Slowly tuck your left arm under your body and twist forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor (C). Return to the side plank. That’s 1 rep. Do 2 or 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on each side, resting for 1 minute between sets. I do a variation of these, holding a light dumbbell in my raised hand.
Finally, be sure to stretch well. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Balance and strength routine

  1. 😀 YES! This is a great alternative Leg Day exercise example to balance and stabilize around our leg muscles. I’ll give those a go in my next leg day sesh (maybe later today?) Btw- I can feel my oblique/core muscles from yesterday by doing some of those core exercises you wrote about. Thank yoU!

    • That’s really great to hear, Josie–you are welcome! I think I will do some obliques and upper body right now–I have been feeling a little down today and some exercise should help 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s