Five key areas of fitness should be considered when developing a complete workout routine focused on improving health and wellness for the long term. Aside from aerobic/cardio work, strength training, flexibility work/stretching, and core strength, aim to include some exercises that also promote balance and improve coordination.
Happily, many of the other fitness activities you perform already have a positive effect on coordination and/or can be easily modified to address balance as well. Here are some simple exercises you can simply add on to the workout routine you already have, or do at home to supplement your gym time, in order to encourage more balance and coordination.
1 LEGGED WORK
Stand and lift one knee up until your hip is bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold it there for as long as possible. Time how long you can keep your balance. If you have trouble at first, you can hold onto the back of a chair while you lift your leg and then remove your hand slowly to see how long you can hold the position. You can make this simple move more complex by using an unstable surface such as a Bosu ball, or even a soft pillow.
WALK THE LINE
Walk heel-to-toe along a line marked on the ground or alongside a stretch of rope. Keeping your feet in the heel-to-toe position, you can increase the challenge by having a partner throw a ball to you, or you can toss a ball against a wall to catch it as well. If you’re having trouble staying on the line at first, try a slight bend of your knees.
Use a line on the floor or lay out a jump rope to form one. Stand just behind the line with your feet slightly apart, then hop and land with one foot in front of the line and one foot behind the line. Switch which foot is in front and back with the next hop. Go quicker to challenge yourself, and make it even more difficult to move sideways up and down the line as you hop and land. If you add in some shadowboxing punches, you’ll be working to improve coordination.
PILATES CRISSCROSS CRUNCH (BICYCLE MANEUVER)
Lie on your back and place your hands gently behind your head, elbows out to the side. Move your legs up to about a 45-degree angle from the floor, right knee bent and left leg extending. Cross your left side of your body from the ribs to the shoulder and elbow, over toward your right knee. Then switch sides and bicycle your legs to bring the left knee in and the right leg extended. Continue the crossover motions right and left for at least eight reps, building to