Fitness

How to become balanced in 10 minutes

Stability becomes more and more challenging as you get older, so consider these balance-enhancing moves your personal fountain of youth

Roberto Caruso

Roberto Caruso

Roberto Caruso

Roberto Caruso

A woman standing in tree pose balance

Roberto Caruso

Before you begin: You need dumbbells

1. Tree pose
Standing tall and strong, shift your weight to your left leg. Place the sole of your right foot onto your left inner thigh and bring your palms together at your chest. Hold 30 to 60 seconds, while focusing on breathing slowly and evenly. Switch legs. Repeat twice on each side.

Perfect your form: Press your weight into the floor, using the whole base of your foot, and avoid locking your knee. Be careful not to press the raised foot into the knee of your standing leg.

Dial it down: If your foot won’t stay on your inner thigh, place it on the side of your calf instead.
Amp it up: Keeping your hands together, reach your arms overhead and close your eyes.

2. Forward kicks
Stand tall. Raise your fists to eye level and shift your weight to your right leg. Bend and lift your left knee. Straighten your leg and kick. Return to starting position and do 15 reps, then switch legs.

Perfect your form: Keep your core tight and kicking foot flexed. You’ll get more power from your kick if you push forward with your heel.

Dial it down: Instead of the full kick, do a knee lift.

Amp it up: After each forward kick, plant your foot and do a back kick with your other leg.

3. Single-leg dead lift with bent-over row
Holding dumbbells, stand with your weight on your left leg. Slowly lean forward and extend your right leg behind you until your body is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms toward the floor (palms facing in), then bend your elbows as you pull the weights in toward your chest. Pause at the top, then lower arms back down and return to starting position. Do 15 reps, then switch legs.

Perfect your form: Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of each row.

Dial it down: Work one arm at a time and place one hand on a wall or chair for extra support.

Amp it up: Use heavier weights.

4. Lunge twist
Start with feet hip-width apart and fists at eye level. Step forward with one leg, bending both knees until your front leg is 90 degrees, and thigh is parallel to the ground. Twist torso to one side. Step back to standing. Repeat, stepping forward with other leg and twisting in other direction. Do 15 reps per side.

Perfect your form: Keep your shoulders back and hold your head high.

Dial it down: Skip the twist.

Amp it up: Instead of staying in one spot, do walking lunges.

Calorie-burning bonus: Blast away fat and get your heart pumping by doing 30 to 60 seconds of high-intensity cardio between these exercises. This month, try skipping. You can even add a balance component with a few single-leg hops. No rope? No problem— just pretend.