Begin with a light warm up for a few minutes. This may be walking, marching in place, or stepping side to side. Perform one of these warm ups for 3‐5 minutes before beginning any workout.
Perform each exercise:
1. 8 to 10 reps and one set, then repeat entire program 3 times, OR
2. 8 to 10 reps and 3 sets, then to the next exercise.
Start by lying face down on mat and place forearms on mat with shoulders aligned directly over elbows. Clasp your hands in front of you. Extend legs behind you and as if going to do a push‐up. Hips should not be lifted to ceiling, nor should your back be arched. Attain a straight line between your shoulders and toes. Tighten abdominal muscles to help you hold the position correctly and hold for at 30 seconds if you are able. If not, work up to 30 seconds, then 60 seconds, etc. Breathe evenly throughout move.
Lie on a mat on your left side. Place forearm in front of you on the mat. Position yourself so that only the forearm of your left hand plus the left side of your hips and legs are in contact with the floor. Position other hand either palm down onto the mat in front of you, on your hip or behind your head. Maintain good core body posture and balance using your right hand as leverage on the mat. Set your left leg directly atop the other or place the top (left) leg in front of the bottom (right) one. Inhale and contract your abdominal muscles, pulling them inward. Exhale as you lift upwards using your left forearm and left foot and hold 10‐60 seconds. Repeat the side plank on your other side and hold.
Single Leg Balance
Stand with your feet about hip width apart, place your hands on your hips (or out to the sides for balance), and lift your left leg off of the ground and hold this position for 10 seconds, then repeat. Switch legs and repeat. This exercise improves strength in the leg and thigh muscles, and can improve flexibility.
Shoulder Press Balance
Stand with your feet hip width apart, keeping your body weight equal on both sides, holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Move the left arm upward until it is perpendicular to the ground, bend your left leg and lift it off of the ground. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds, before moving back to starting position, and repeat. Then move the dumbbell to the right hand, and repeat the exercise holding the right leg off of the ground, holding for 10 seconds each rep, and repeat.
Side Lateral Raise Balance
Stand so that your legs are hip width apart, balancing your weight on both feet, and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Raise your right arm so that it is perpendicular to the ground, lift the right leg off of the ground, and bend the knee backward. You want to hold this position for 10 seconds, go back to starting position, and then repeat. Then repeat the exercise with the left arm and leg, remembering to hold the position for 10 seconds.
Begin by lying on the floor, with the knees bent and the feet on the ground. Place the arms at the sides, slightly away from the body with the palms face down. Thrust the belly and pelvis upward, so that the upper legs, belly and chest are flat, and the body is supported by the feet and the upper arms and shoulders. Hold the back bridge position for several seconds and slowly lower your buttocks back down to the floor. For a more difficult workout, you can support yourself using the head and palms. Note that bridging off the head will also engage your neck muscles.
Kneel on all fours. Inhale, and as you exhale activate your core by drawing your naval to your spine. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed and your shoulders are relaxed. Inhale as you extend your right leg and left arm. Exhale to return. Inhale again and extend your left leg and right arm. Exhale to return. Repeat.
Cheryl Kindig Estes, NSCA‐CPT
Modified from www.mayoclinic.com & www.sportsmedicine.about.com