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Off-balance exercises to work your cores

Instability exercises that work your core are very good workouts for amateur athletes.

Exercise & Fitness By Ariba Khaliq / May 15, 2014

Get Off Balance

Core workouts strengthen the spine, shoulders and pelvis areas. Strong core muscles help everything from posture to bad backs. A recent study found that instability exercises that work your core are very good workouts for amateur athletes and those recovering from injuries, but traditional stability exercises are probably still the most effective for professional athletes, building more power and strength. So get ready to go off balance and learn a few, fun core moves for better fitness. Image Courtesy: Web md

Pursue Your Abs

Before you start with your workout, tighten your abdominals without holding your breath in order to engage your abdominals. Do this like you are preparing to take a punch. This activation of your core muscles surrounding your spine will tone your entire abdominal area. It will also enable you to prevent injury when lifting weights.  Image Courtesy: Web md

Balancing on One Leg

This is a beginning move and can be done with a stable chair or a wall within your arms’ reach. Place your feet together, then pick one foot with your knee either facing forward or to the sides. Hold on to this position once with open eyes followed by closed eyes. Repeat for four reps on each foot.  Image Courtesy: Web md

Swinging the Leg

Raise your left leg 3-6 inches off the floor while you stand on the right. Place your arms at your sides and swing the left leg forward and backward like a pendulum. You can touch the ground for balance but you must keep your torso erect. Repeat the moves without touching the ground. Then, swing the left leg to the left side with your right arm stretched out. Switch legs and repeat. Image Courtesy: Web md

Clocking One Leg

For this exercise, you must balance on one leg, keep your torso straight, head up and hands on the hips. Imagine a clock and point your arm straight up (like 12 o’ clock), bringing it to the side (like 3 o’ clock), circling it to low (like 6 o’ clock) and around to 9 o’ clock. You must not lose balance at any time of this cycle. Switch to the opposite arm and leg and repeat. Image Courtesy: Web md

One-Legged Clock with Legs

Start exactly like the previous exercise; only this time you will be moving your leg anti-clockwise. Straighten one foot and point to 12, 9, and then cross over to 3 o'clock while holding your balance. Increase the challenge by having a partner shout out the different times to you. Repeat with leg switched. Image Courtesy: Web md

Clock on a BOSU Ball

BOSU ball as it is often called is blue-half-ball that is a fitness training device, consisting of an inflated rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid platform. Once you master balance moves on solid ground, try them on this unstable surface by standing near a wall for support. Start in the middle of the board on two feet at first. When you feel comfortable, carefully give the one-legged clocks a try. Image Courtesy: Web md

One Legged Squat

Stand and keep your feet hip-width apart. Bring your left foot forward and barely touch the floor with it. Now push your hips back and down in this challenging position of one-legged squat. Your right knee should be bent, chest upright, eyes forward and arms out in front. Slowly push up to return to starting position. Switch feet. Be sure your knee doesn't push in front of your toes. Image Courtesy: Web md


Stand with your feet together. Keep your arms straight out to the side at shoulder height. Lift one foot up, pause for a second and lunge forward. Drop down your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Your back must be flat as you hold your arms straight in front of you. Return to the starting position by pushing off with your front leg. Switch sides and repeat. Image Courtesy: Web md

Staggered-stance Squat

Stand and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your head up and chest high. Lurch forward by bringing the toe of one foot, even with your other heel. Hold this position while sinking into a squat. Remember not to let your heels up off the ground while you do this. This move requires a shift in balance and readies you for more dynamic moves. Image Courtesy: Web md

Single-leg Dead Lift

Stand and balance on your left foot. You must engage your abs while you bend forward at the hips reaching towards the ground with your right hand. Hold onto a weight of 5-10 pounds and raise your right leg behind you for counterbalance. As you return to the starting position, tighten your buttocks. Relax your knees and flatten your back throughout the exercise. Repeat with legs switched. Image Courtesy: Web md


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