The Balance Workout

Today’s workout is all about finding balance. We strive to find balance between taking care of our children (and husbands!) and ourselves, between working on our personal goals and supporting our family through theirs, or between spending time with our kids or spending time with our spouse.

Balance is the goal because with balance comes resilience!

So, today was the first day back to school after Spring Break for my two older kids, and I was definitely ready for them to get back to school. Although it was fun having all 4 home with me (just like old times…Story Times at the library and burning energy at the playground was on tap every day!) I was ready to get back to our normal routine.

Having all the kids home with me last week meant that:

  • My sanity took a break at times
  • There was more energy around the house, and of course with that more crying and bickering!
  • My workouts took a slight break (although I still managed to get all of my training runs in for my 5 mile race in May, I had 2 unplanned rest days, and had to do my runs at times outside my normal routine.)

In other words, I had to find a “new” balance for the week to make sure my needs and my family’s needs were both met. And with that balance I found some resilience to make the best of our spring break, to go with the flow, to slow down and enjoy it, rather than being stressed that things might not go according to plan.

So here is a workout that is designed to work on functional balance. As in life, physical balance is super important. Balanced muscles means that larger muscles groups aren’t overworked and smaller muscles aren’t weak. Balance (which begins in the core) gives us resilience to run stronger and lift smarter. And of course, as we grow older, balance keeps us agile and allows for graceful aging.

The Balance Workout

Repeat each move 10 times. Repeat all 5 moves four rounds through, swapping sides each round.

1. Side Lunge to Single Leg Squat
2. Rowing Lunge to Warrior 3
3. Side Plank – Thread the Needle to Leg Abduction
4. Curtsy Lunge to Side Crunch
5. Plank – Elbow to Knee Pull And Reach

 

The Balance Workout

1. Side Lunge to Single Leg Squat

 

  • Space legs 2-3 times the distance of your hips.
  • Perform a side lunge to your right.
  • Press back to standing.
  • Lift the right leg off the floor and perform a single leg squat with the left leg.

 

2. Rowing Lunge to Warrior 3

  • Step the right leg back into a lunge.
  • As you step back, rotate and row your arms towards the left.
  • As you stand up out of the lunge, press forward to stand on the left leg, pitching your upper body and arms forward as the right leg extends back behind you into a Warrior 3 position.

 

 

 

3.  Side Plank Thread the Needle to Leg Abduction

 

  • Find side plank on your right side.
  • Rotate your body to thread your left (top) arm underneath your right (bottom) arm opening.
  • Restack into side plank, and abduct the top leg towards the ceiling.

 

 

 

***Modification: Keep the outside of the bottom knee on the floor throughout the exercise.

 

 

4.  Curtsy Lunge to Side Crunch

 

  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Space legs slightly wider than hip distance.
  • Take the right leg slightly back at a diagonal behind the left to perform a curtsy lunge.
  • As you press out of the curtsy lunge, find your balance on the left leg and take the right leg to right elbow, performing a side crunch.

 

 

 

 

5.  Plank – Elbow to Knee Pull And Reach

 

 

  • Find a plank position, but space your legs about twice the width of your hips for stability.
  • Take your left leg and right arm off the floor and tap your knee to elbow underneath your belly button.
  • Extend the arm and leg away from your center.

 

 

***Modification: Instead of a plank, do the knee to elbow pull in quadruped position (on your hands and knees).

 

This workout takes about 20 minutes to complete. Be sure to move at a focused pace (AKA don’t rush through it!) so that you really challenge your balance.  Keep your abdominals drawn in through the moves to help with balance as well. Modify as needed (use a wall or chair to spot yourself, place your knee on the floor, etc.)

Let me know how it goes!

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