Step Up to Balance
The Step Up to Balance exercise will help with balance and improve the strength of your core muscles.
1. Stand tall with good posture in front of a sturdy bench, chair or a box that is not higher than your knee.
Dumbbells can be
held in each hand, the weight dependent upon your strength level. I suggest starting with 10-pound dumbbells.
2. Place one foot on the apparatus of choice and use that leg to pull yourself up or step up onto the apparatus.
Bring the other leg up to a 90-degree angle, raise your arm on the same side and stand tall on one leg, with good posture, for 3 to 4 full seconds.
3. While in this position, don’t let your body sway. You must establish and hold your balance for 3 to 4 seconds.
4. Slowly return the leg that was being held up and stand on the floor.
5. Repeat the sequence 10 to 12 times.
Ideally these motions are not meant to be performed fast, unless you were told to do so for a specific purpose.
If this exercise is used as a cardio motion between other exercises, consider doing 12 reps performed fast, at 2 seconds per rep.
Don’t slouch or perform half reps. If you don’t stand tall it will defeat the purpose of the exercise.
In addition to your core muscles, you’ll work the quadriceps, hip flexors, glutes (buttocks), calves, inner thigh group and hamstrings.
If you’re holding weights, the arms, up- per back muscles and shoulders are activated to maintain and hold the dumbbells in place, making this motion a full body workout.
Anyone with knee pain, back pain, hip pain or an ankle issue should not perform this exercise.
See one of our coaches at Shula’s Athletic Club for a full evaluation.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.