Do You Have A Balanced Body?

I saw this test on Self Magazine’s site.  This test, which is very simple and requires no equipment, highlights imbalances that you may have.  They suggest adding it to your warm up three to four times a week.  The test comprises:

  • overhead squat
  • single-leg lift
  • alternating plank lift
  • single-leg bridge
  • shoulder stretch

Overhead Squatosquat

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

Single-legged-deadliftsTry 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

pho_exercise_plank-straight-alternatingTry 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

Single-leg-glute-bridge-300x221Try 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
670px-Perform-Shoulder-Stretches-Step-4 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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