THE BLOG

Do You Have a Balanced Body? Take This Test to Find Out

02/18/2015 04:48 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

By SELF Staffers, SELF

This no-equipment-needed series, created by Dylan Schenk of Cross Train studio in Hollywood, targets potential imbalances that, over time, can lead to pain and injury. Try adding it to your warmup three to four times a week. Plus, see Danai Gurira's secrets to a balanced body.

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On The Walking Dead, Gurira is known for her dreadlocks, but her amazing arms steal the spotlight here. Photo credit: Jason Kim.

Overhead Squat
Tests:
Range of motion in the hips, back and shoulders

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a light bar overhead (a yoga strap or broomstick works). Bend knees and sit back to squat, keeping body upright.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, aiming to get hips below parallel without leaning forward.

Single-Leg Lift
Tests:
Glutes and core strength; balance

Try It: Balancing on right leg, bend knee gently as you hinge forward and reach left hand to floor in front of right foot. Then stand up.

Ace It: Do 10 reps without losing your balance or, even better, without wavering. Repeat on opposite side.

Alternating Plank Lift
Tests:
Core strength

Try It: Do a plank on forearms and toes. Lift right arm and left leg; extend, then lower them.

Ace It: Do 10 reps per side, alternating sides, imagining that you're balancing a full glass of water on your lower back. Keep your torso stationary so that the glass doesn't spill.

Single-Leg Bridge
Tests: Core, back and hip strength

Try It: Lie on back, arms at sides, knees bent, feet flat. Lift left foot, knee bent 90 degrees. Lift hips; pause, then lower.

Ace It: Do 10 reps, keeping hips level instead of dipping them as you lift and lower. Repeat on opposite side.

Shoulder Stretch
Tests: Shoulder and chest mobility

Try It: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Reach right arm up, left arm down. Bend elbows behind back, reaching fingertips toward each other in middle of upper back.

Ace It: Hold for 30 seconds, working to clasp your hands together. Repeat on opposite side.

Photo: Red halter swimsuit, $390; LisaMarieFernandez.com. Shorts; VictoriasSecret.com for similar styles. Styled by Lindsey Frugier. Hair, Karim Odoms; makeup, Agostina at Exclusive Artists Management; manicure, Kimmie Keyes at Celestine Agency; production, 3 Star.