Is your body off balance?  Think twice before skimping on core stabilizing exercises at your next sweat session.  While most people prefer a routine that focuses on boosting their biceps, backs and booties, it is equally as important to perform exercises that encourage core strength, stability and balance.  In order to build muscle, you must fortify your fitness foundation first.  Balance and stability exercises are convenient in that they can be executed in your home or office.  All you need is a stability ball and a resistance band for the following exercises that will rock you to the root, aid in preventing injuries and keep your torso tight and toned.

Have a Ball.  Challenge your balance and core strength by planking on an unsteady surface, such as a stability ball.  If this is the first time you are giving it a go on the globe, rest the ball against a fixed surface, like a nearby wall.  Starting on your knees, position the upper body so the forearms are resting on the ball and the shoulders are aligned above the elbows.  Activate your abdominal muscles by elevating into a plank.  Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels.  Hold for 60 seconds.

Strike up the Band.  Attach a resistance band to a steady surface.  Take several steps away from the base in order to create tension on the  band.  With your shoulders back, and abs activated, clasp the handle by wrapping both hands around the stem.  Slowly push the band from the center of the chest out, until both arms are fully extended.  You should feel a tightness in the obliques which are closest to the base upon which the band is attached.  This exercise targets the lateral portion of the abdominal muscles by encouraging stabilizers, such as the obliques, to work by preventing torso rotation.  Repeat this movement 15 times on both sides.

SeeSaw Overhaul.  Using the same resistance cord, step away from the base until there is tension on the band.  Activate your core muscle and allow your body weight to rest in the planted foot.  Elevate the opposite leg to a 90 degree angle, and gently pull the band back until the handle is next to the ribs.  Squeeze your shoulder blade in this position for 2 counts.  As you begin to release the band back to its original position, slowly allow your upper body weight to shift forward until your chest is parallel with the floor.  This exercise focuses not only on building core strength through balance, but it stretches and engages the hamstring as well.  Pull your body back into the starting position, and repeat 8-10 times on each leg.

{Repeat this circuit 3 times}

Don't let muscle instability hang in the balance.  Pushing your body to the limit, and prepare to be amazed by how much you can achieve.

Earn it.

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