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A 12-Minute Balance & Stability Workout To Support Longevity

tree pose with lateral raise
Image by Andreas von Scheele
August 16, 2021

Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: Suki Clements.

There are so many benefits to moving your body regularly. It increases energy, supports your mental health, promotes heart and brain health, and so much more. Another value to exercising? It promotes longevity. In fact, many studies have associated regular exercise, even in the form of small daily movements, with a longer life span.

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One valuable type of fitness to focus on, in order to keep your body moving for many years to come, is balance exercises. That's why I put together this full-body workout which focuses on building balance, strength, and stability. Each exercise is designed to help your body with mobility and range of motion—to feel really empowered in your body and promote fitness longevity.

All you need is a light set of weights (which are totally optional) and a mat for this beneficial practice. It's all about balance, right?

Your 4-week challenge: For the next month, I'll be sharing some fantastic strength-focused routines you can do from home. Each workout is a culmination of my experience as a movement artist, yoga teacher, and fitness professional—consider these sculpting workouts your 2.0 yoga flows. I encourage you to make these routines part of your weekly workout schedule two to three times per week to feel all the mind and body benefits.

Workout Summary

  • Time: 12 minutes
  • Equipment: Light set of dumbbells and a yoga mat.
  • Instructions: To prepare your body for this routine, take a little extra time as you get into bird dog. Feel your core activate, and bring awareness into your body. Then, move from one exercise to the next, and complete for the indicated amount of time.

Bird Dog

Image by mbg creative
  1. Get on all fours, and place shins flat on the ground. Stack your shoulders over your wrists. Release your shoulder blades away from your ears. Feel that belly pull into your spine. Find a neutral back. Take a deep breath. 
  2. Inhale as your reach your right arm and left leg up, stretching away from your body. As you lift, don't arch your back or bring your leg too high. Tuck your pelvis and hug your abdominals in; squeeze your glutes for stability.
  3. Exhale as your return your arm and leg back to the ground.
  4. Continue for 1 minute without weights. Then grab a dumbbell with your right hand and repeat for 15 seconds. Switch sides, and repeat the entire sequence.

Squat

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  1. Start in a standing position. Bring your feet out wider than hip-distance apart.
  2. Sit your hips back, and lower down, keeping knees over heels.
  3. Drag your shoulder blades down your back. Separate the knees from each other, don't let them knock in, and activate the outer glutes.
  4. Engage glutes to lift back up to start. That's one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds, pulsing at the bottom for the last 10 seconds.

Tree Pose

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  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Ground down through one foot. Bend your opposite knee, and bring that foot to your right ankle, lower part of your leg, or thigh (whatever you prefer).
  3. Let your arms rest gently at your sides.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Tree Pose + Lateral Raise 

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  1. Start in a standing position, with a pair of dumbbells in your hands.
  2. Ground down through your left foot. Bend your right knee, and bring your right foot to your left ankle, lower part of your leg, or thigh (whatever you prefer).
  3. Lift your arms up to the sides, until they're in line with your shoulders. Slowly lower back down.
  4. That's one rep. Continue for 30 seconds. Then, repeat tree pose, followed by tree pose with lateral raise on the opposite side.

Squat + Heel Lift

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  1. Start in a standing position. Bring your feet out wider than hip-distance apart.
  2. Sit your hips back and lower down, keeping knees over heels.
  3. Drag your shoulder blades down your back. Separate the knees from each other, don't let them knock in, and activate the outer glutes.
  4. Engage glutes to rise up, coming onto your toes at the top.
  5. That's one rep. Continue for 40 seconds, balancing at the top for the last 10 seconds.

Toe Stand Balance

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  1. Start in a standing position, with your feet together. Come up onto your toes.
  2. Hold for 30 seconds, focusing on finding your balance.
  3. Then, slowly bend your knees, and lower down until you're in a low-squat position.
  4. Hold at the bottom for 30 seconds.

Reverse Tabletop Crunch

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  1. Start by sitting down on your mat. Press your hands and feet into the mat, fingertips facing your seat. Lift your hips up.
  2. Lift one leg off the ground. Point your toes, kick your foot out, then bend your knee to bring it back in.
  3. For an extra challenge, extend your legs out so you're resting on one heel (a reverse plank position).
  4. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
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Suki Clements
Suki Clements
Yoga Teacher & Fitness Professional

Suki Clements is a New York City based dancer, movement artist, yoga teacher & fitness professional with a passion for inclusion and accessibility. With a BFA in dance from UC Santa Barbara, Clements has been professionally dancing, creating, and performing works around the nation and globe. She has experience as a concert contemporary dancer, commercial work, site specific, and dance theater among other mediums. Her yoga and fitness certifications range from 500 hour RYT, trauma-sensitive trainings, Prison Yoga Project Teacher Certification, NASM certified personal trainer, myofascial release,and more.