happy feeling fit friday!
today we are going back to the basics.

balance and stability.


you know i’ve been working hard to cut back my workouts, to help get my hormones in check. this week, i finally did it…except for yesterday. anne’s class kicked my butt. and i busted out an 8 minute mile before hand. oops.
after i completed the workout below last week, i challenged myself to only do 2 strength workouts this week, and yoga or walking or balance/stability training the rest of the week. and i succeeded, for the most part.
holler. back.

when i was studying for my nasm exami was an overachiever, like always, an made flash cards. it took multiple times of reviewing to differentiate between the definition for stability and dynamic balance

stability, according to nasm, is the ability of the body to maintain postural equilibrium and support the joints during movement.

dynamic balance, according to nasm, is the ability to move and change directions under various conditions without falling.

those definitions are somewhat similar, and when you have at least 100 flash cards to review, the definitions sounds the same! by the time it got close to my test, i figured out a way to remember the difference between the two words.


now, balance and stability are incredibly important and the foundation for all functional movements. any other nasm trainers will know that the opt (optimum performance training) model stresses beginning all new training clients with a couple weeks of a stabilization phase – which includes balance training. and the aim is to improve dynamic balance in a proprioceptively enriched environment – read: unstable, but controlled environment.

balance training is great because there is a ton of room for progression. you can go from stable surface to an unstable surface (floor to balance beam to foam pad to bosu ball), from slow to fast, eyes open to eyes closed, and more. so many possibilities.


i’ve found that it’s been a bit of struggle to plan lower key workouts. i am a girl that likes to push it and sweat when i workout. but i was determined to create something. and as i was thinking, i remembered i had this workout from lindsay cotter on my list of workouts to try! i used it as a little bit of inspiration to create the workout below.

i ended up completing 3 rounds of the workout. i used a 15#kettlebell for the single leg deadlift, an 8# medicine ball for the lunge with cross body chop, and did my lunges and push-ups on the bosu ball. you can certainly do this workout without any weight and without the bosu ball. the weight adds a bit of a challenge, and the bosu creates that proprioceptively enriched environment that helps build stability and balance.


this is not a workout that you want to rush through. make sure your movements are slower and controlled. that you are focusing on the muscle you are working.
mind on the muscle.
i say this to my bootcampers whenever i teach. lots of times. broken record, right? (bootcampers say ‘no, we love it!’)

check below for tips and some instructions. like how i made it look like an old school chalk board?! heh.


exercises and tips:

  • shoulder plank taps: come into a hand plank, wrists under shoulders, pelvis tucked, abdominals, quads and glutes tight, heels back. lift your right hand and touch your left shoulder. place it back on the ground and lift your left hand to touch your right shoulder. repeat for 20 reps total. make sure to keep everything tight. spread feet out a little wide to help stabilize and avoid moving your body from side to side with each tap – only your arms should move.
  • single leg deadlift: standing on your right leg, glute, quad and hamstring tight, knee slightly bent. hold kettlebell with both hands or dumbbell in each hand, roll shoulders back and down, engage the lats. lift left leg, hinged at the hip and lower weights down in front of you, keeping knee slightly bent. lower til your body is parallel to the ground. squeeze glute, lower abs and hamstring on the way up. repeat all 10 reps on right, then switch to left.
  • knee tuck to down dog split: come into that hand plank position. slowly bring right knee up to the chest, pausing for 1-2 seconds. reach leg back, hips up, and body back into down dog position. hold 1-2 seconds. bring knee back up to chest. repeat all reps on right, then switch to left.


  • lunge w/cross body chop: perform a lunge on your right leg. make sure your leg is at 90 degrees, knee over the ankle. raise hands to the left and as you lower into the lunge, chop hands across your body to the lower right. as you come up out of the lunge, raise hands back up to the left. add medicine ball for a challenge. lunge on the round side of the bosu for even more of a challenge. keep glutes and lower abs tight throughout this movement. you’ll be feeling it in your obliques (side abs) as well! repeat all reps on one side and then switch.
  • push-ups: good ole push-ups. keep those glutes, lower abs and quads tight throughout this movement. retract the shoulder blades at the bottom and push the ground away as you come up. if you cannot perform a regular push-up, try an elevated push-up. taylor at lifting revolution. has a great push-up progression.
  • single leg squat: either perform this as a modified pistol – so not going all the way down – or bend the non squatting leg. stand on right leg, lifting left leg. squat down, slowly and controlled, and come back up. so important to keep the glutes, lower abs, and quads really tight. hold on to a chair or counter for a little support. try avoid having the knee turn in – this is a sign of weak gluteal muscles. repeat all reps on one side and then switch.
  • bear tucks: come into tabletop position, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. come up onto your toes, but stay in that same position – knees should be raised just slightly off the ground. bracing through your midsection and shoulders/hands, slowly tuck your knee in slightly, lifting your foot off the ground. return to start. slowly tuck your left foot. repeat 20 reps total.


you’ll notice, that i mention keeping your glutes, lower abs, and quads tight in just about every exercise. your glutes, adductors, quads and hamstring complex are all part of your global and movement core muscles. they help stabilize the entire body. and it is important to keep these muscles engaged throughout the entire workout.


are you so ready for the weekend?!
i am getting some fitness photos taken tomorrow!
my friend danyele, who was my youth leader in high school, who took my senior pictures (throw back shot here!), and who is the executive director of student impact (i’m on the student impact board of directors!), is taking them for me. i am so excited!!! danyele is just an all around amazing woman, and she just so happens to be a ridiculously great photographer. i was stoked when she accepted my request to take some profesh fitness photos for the blog. i spent all week figuring out my outfit, and i am so ready to get to it tomorrow! you guys will be the first to see the photos once they are ready.

happy fit friday!!

– jena.

p.s. do you do any balance or stability training?

want more burpees for breakfast?
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