LIVING

Workout For Balance: 10 Moves To Keep You Steady

01/21/2014 01:44 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
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Sexy young yoga female doing yogic exercise on isolated white background

THE GOAL: Improve balance and posture by strengthening core and muscles

THE EXPERT: Marci Figuer, personal trainer and owner of Detox Club in Toronto

THE INFO: So much of our strength comes from our core muscles, which also help us to stand upright and keep our balance — a particularly useful skill during this icy winter. Our ab muscles, along with strengthened knee and quad muscles, all work to keep us strong and safe, and can use the extra attention these exercises provide. As an additional bonus, keeping our balance can also help us walk taller and improve posture.

THE MOVES:

Exercises For Balance

Single Leg Balance

Standing in an upright position, put your arms into a "T" position. Stand on your left leg and sweep the right leg forward and back, maintaining form, posture and balance. Repeat 10 to 20 times, then do the same on your right left.

To increase the workload, as you extend back, reach your hand to the floor with your leg in the back bent position. Sweep the leg forward and reach your right arm up to the ceiling with your knee bent. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

Side Leg Raises

Standing upright with your abs pulled in and with tall posture, stand on your left leg and sweep your right leg to the side, 10 to 20 times. Repeat on your other leg.

To increase the workload, when the leg sweeps to the right side, land in a lateral lunge. Pick the leg back up and sweep to the left side. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

Body Squats

Start in the squat position, and jump up and back down into a squat. Repeat 10 times.

Single Leg Hops

Standing on your right leg, hop up and down for 10 to 30 seconds, then switch to the left. Standing on the right leg again, hop towards the front and towards the back for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch legs. Finally, hop side to side on your right leg for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch and do the same on your left.

Speed Skater

Stand with your knees slightly bent and core tight, and bring one foot behind the other in a controlled movement. As you get more comfortable with the movement, bring in some impact and jump from leg to leg, landing on a single leg. Repeat 40 times.

Mountain Climbers

Keeping your abs tight and your body long, start with a strong plank position. Then alternate right and left knees in and out for 30 seconds.

Pass The Ball

Keeping a small yoga ball, water bottle or medicine ball in your right hand, stand on your left leg with your right leg slightly brushed forward and off the floor. Put both arms in the "T" position, palms facing up, and then lift the ball overhead and pass it to the left hand. Repeat passing the weight from one hand to the other 10 times. Change legs and repeat.

Plyo Power Lunges

Start in a lunge position, jump up and switch legs. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Single Leg Deadlifts

Start in an upright position with slightly bent knees and a long back. As you hinge forward, your right leg extends back as your right hand reaches for the floor. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

Lunges With Weight

Lunge forward with your right leg, holding a light medicine ball, or reaching arms forward with hands clasped. Rotate to the right side and left side. Return your legs together and arms in. Repeat to the opposite side, rotating left and right. Repeat 20 times, alternating sides.

Have something that needs fine tuning? Let us know in the comments below.

The new year is the time to take on new challenges, so for the month of January and beyond, The Huffington Post Canada's Living team brings you Fine Tuning: daily workouts, with tips on how to tone up, get healthy and stay fit for the whole year. Each workout will focus on one fitness goal or body part, with our favourite trainers showing you simple ways to get stronger and healthier in less than 45 minutes.

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