Maintaining a balance between various aspects of life is essential for overall well-being. While we often focus on physical fitness and strength training, we may neglect the importance of balance and stability workouts. These workouts can help improve stability, prevent falls, and enhance athletic performance. In this article, we will look at the benefits of incorporating balance and stability workouts into your fitness routine and provide some options to get started.
Benefits of Balance and Stability Workouts
Balance workouts are essential for maintaining overall physical health and preventing injuries. These workouts help to improve stability and coordination, which are crucial for performing everyday activities such as walking, standing, and reaching. Balance exercises also strengthen the muscles that support the joints, lowering the risk of falls and other injuries.
There are a variety of effective workouts that you can incorporate into your fitness routine. These exercises target specific muscle groups and can help you build strength and coordination, all while improving your balance and stability.
The Best Balance and Stability Workouts
Let’s discuss how to improve stability through an array of proven balance workouts:
Walking Lunge with a Twist
The walking lunge is a great exercise for the legs and core. By lunging forward, you engage each leg while twisting to engage more of your core. Better yet, this exercise requires no equipment!
First, stand in a natural position. Then, step forward with your right foot until you naturally lower into the lunge. As you lower, gently twist to the right, stretching your arms out for balance. After you feel the stretch, draw your left leg behind you, and stand up on your right leg to reach a neutral position. Then repeat with your left.
Roughly 10-12 lunges on each side are perfect, but you can do less if you are learning the ropes. Ease into the lunge and feel the gentle stretch on your thighs, glutes, and core.
Plank with a Leg Lift
You’re likely familiar with the humble plank. All you’ll need is a mat and patience to commit to this challenging but rewarding exercise.
Most people know that planks are a fantastic core workout. In this variant, we’ll add a simple leg lift to reduce your points of contact on the mat, thoroughly engaging your core and balance capabilities.
Begin with a regular plank, forearms on the ground, and body in a straight line with good posture. When starting, lift one of your legs just a few inches from the ground. You can try to balance your leg in line with your body over time, but it’s fine to start small. Aim to keep each leg in the air for 10-15 seconds.
Keep this going as long as you can comfortably plank without causing too much strain on your body. For some beginners, that may only be one movement per leg. For more advanced individuals, it may be possible to do 10-12 on each side for a total plank time of two minutes. The important thing is that you start, and you will gradually improve over time.
Kettlebell Russian Twist
If you’re looking to really work those obliques and test your balance, the Russian Twist with kettlebell hold is a valuable exercise. You’ll need a kettlebell you can comfortably hold and keep good standing form.
In this balance workout, you’ll lean back slightly and gently twist your torso to the right, engaging your core to lower the kettlebell towards your hip. Then return to your neutral position, and repeat the movement on your left side.
You’ll no doubt feel the intensity of this workout in your core and obliques, but doing so will test your balance and coordination. As you become stronger over time, you may even graduate to heavier kettlebells! However, make sure to do so very incrementally.
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