You know that core exercise move that looks so simple when someone does it in front of you or that sounds really easy when you read it on paper? That move that as soon as you try it, you quickly realise the error of your ways and immediately look for the nearest exit?
Well, I have a new one for you, which I learnt about (the hard way) at CrossFit District Six. They’re called scales and they look deceptively easy, but are a real burner that will help with your balance and strengthening your core.
So, why are they so good to include in your workout? First of all, you don’t need any fancy equipment or have a membership to an upscale gym to do this core exercise. “Scales can be done anywhere. They’re good because they’re a low-impact exercise and can be done as part of a warm-up or be added to your regular routine,” explains CrossFit District Six coach, Leor Williams.
“They’ll help with your balance and posture by strengthening your core muscles, which is always a bonus. And everyone will benefit from doing them – people of all ages need single-leg strength and a stronger core and this is a good exercise to develop it,” he says.
Okay, I’ve got you intrigued. So here’s how to do this core exercise. Leor suggests starting slow to make sure you have proper form and technique. Start with a 10 to 20 second hold in the front scale, then repeat with the back hold. Change legs. Do this for two to three rounds. As you get stronger, you can either increase the time and/or the rounds.
1/ Stand tall. Put your arms out straight at shoulder height. Then, balancing on your left leg, lift your right leg as high as it can go without compromising your form and hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Then rest for about 10 seconds.
2/ Next, lift your arms again to shoulder height and, balancing on your left leg, lift your right leg out behind you as high as you can. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then rest. Focus on keeping your hips straight, don’t turn them out to the side.
3/ Repeat the move, balancing on your right leg and lifting your left leg forwards and backwards.
I know it looks easy, but you’ll soon feel the burn. Good luck!