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15-Minute Workout: Challenge Your Muscles

These stability moves will sculpt and tone your entire body

Balancing Act

Whether you're trying to nail a headstand in yoga class, haul groceries up a staircase, or master your stiletto strut, your balance is put to the test daily. Balance training helps you stay sure-footed so you don't wobble, or worse, wipe out.

But the benefits go far beyond just preventing an embarrassing spill. Stability exercises improve your posture, strengthen your core, and help you achieve a toned head-to-toe physique, says Nick Anthony, performance specialist at Core Performance in Phoenix, who designed this routine.

"These moves work multiple joints through multiple planes of motion," says Anthony. It's a change-up from standard strength exercises that tend to work one muscle in a single movement pattern. The result? You get more out of each move, which helps you sculpt lean, strong, balanced muscles. And since your core is constantly engaged throughout each exercise, you'll get a killer ab workout to boot!

Do three to five reps of the elbow-to-instep lunge on each leg as a warm-up. Then complete eight to 10 reps of the remaining moves, resting less than one minute between exercises. Repeat for a total of three sets. Try it two or three times a week.

Elbow-to-Instep Lunge

  1. Stand with your arms at your sides
  2. Then lunge forward with your right leg; place your left hand on the floor and your right elbow next to the arch of your right foot
  3. Pause, then rotate your torso to the right, reaching your right hand overhead
  4. Place both hands to the sides of your right foot and straighten both legs, folding your chest forward toward your right leg. Stand, then repeat with the left leg

Single-Leg Balance Squat

  1. Stand on one foot in front of a bench (or chair)
  2. Then squat until your glutes touch the seat. Stand back up, using only the leg you're balancing on.

BOSU Dynamic Plank

  1. Start in a pushup position with your hands on a BOSU balance trainer and your feet more than hip-width apart
  2. Lower your right forearm onto the dome
  3. Then lower your left, keeping your body in a straight line. Push back to the starting position, moving your left hand first. That's one rep.

BOSU Mountain Climber

  1. Place the balance trainer dome-side down, then get into a pushup position with your shoulders directly over your wrists
  2. Keeping your hips in place, bend one knee toward your chest, then return to the starting position. Repeat quickly with the other knee, and continue alternating

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