Do You Have Good Balance? Here’s How to Tell

Can’t stand on one foot without falling? You need this series from Self in your life.

This no-equipment-needed series| created by Dylan Schenk of Cross Train studio in Hollywood| targets potential imbalances that| over time| can lead to pain and injury. Try adding it to your warm-up three to four times a week. Plus| see Danai Gurira’s secrets to a balanced body.

Overhead Squat

Tests: Range of motion in the hips| back and shoulders

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart| holding a light bar overhead (a yoga strap or broomstick works). Bend knees and sit back to squat| keeping body upright.

Ace It: Do 10 reps| aiming to get hips below parallel without leaning forward.

Single-Leg Lift

Tests: Glutes and core strength; balance

Try It: Balancing on right leg| bend knee gently as you hinge forward and reach left hand to floor in front of right foot. Then stand up.

Ace It: Do 10 reps without losing your balance or| even better| without wavering. Repeat on opposite side.

Alternating Plank Lift

Tests: Core strength

Try It: Do a plank on forearms and toes. Lift right arm and left leg; extend| then lower them.

Ace It: Do 10 reps per side| alternating sides| imagining that you’re balancing a full glass of water on your lower back. Keep your torso stationary so that the glass doesn’t spill.

Single-Leg Bridge

Tests: Core| back and hip strength

Try It: Lie on back| arms at sides| knees bent| feet flat. Lift left foot| knee bent 90 degrees. Lift hips; pause| then lower.

Ace It: Do 10 reps| keeping hips level instead of dipping them as you lift and lower. Repeat on opposite side.

Shoulder Stretch

Tests: Shoulder and chest mobility

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Reach right arm up| left arm down. Bend elbows behind back| reaching fingertips toward each other in middle of upper back.

Ace It: Hold for 30 seconds| working to clasp your hands together. Repeat on opposite side.


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