How to Practice Your Balance—and Make Mr. Miyagi Proud!

miyagi's crane kick!

Wow—Miyagi was pretty graceful, right?


If you’re like me, you can get around most days without just toppling over.

Your equilibrium is probably pretty good.


So why develop your balance?

Practicing exercises that improve your “not-falling-over-ness” (technical term) strengthens TONS of muscles in your body, some that see little-to-no use, depending on your level of activity.

Your obliques, abs, quads, and hamstrings, just to name a few of the big ones—plus all the muscles in your feet, and you give your hips a nice workout, too!


OH—and you’re also paying a visit to the brain gym, too.

Balance exercises require concentration; you’ll be training your mind to be at peace and focus solely on the taks at hand, which as it turns out, is a very awesome skill to have when you’re under a deadline or people around you are acting all wacky and you’ve got work to do!

This ain’t the time for daydreaming, so thinking about your laundry, your hot date, or your hot date with the laundry is going to land you on the ground pretty quickly!

If you need any more convincing, listen to the original sensei himself!


Here are three balance exercises I use all the time—and you can do anywhere! (tranquil aquatic background optional ;)


The Balance Poses

1) One-Leg Raise

  1. Plant your left foot
  2. Raise your other right knee (at least to your hip)
  3. Lean back, raising your left hand over your head
  4. Lower back down
  5. Repeat with planting your right foot and raising your left knee


2) One-Leg Crouch

  1. Plant your left foot
  2. Bring your right ankle over your left knee at a right angle
  3. Hold your arms out in front of you in a wide circle
  4. Lower down and sit back, keeping your left knee behind your toes!
  5. Optional: bring your arms behind you
  6. Keep your back as straight as possible
  7. Raise up (keeping your knee behind your toes)
  8. Repeat with planting your right foot and bringing the left knee over


3) Warrior III

  1. Plant your left foot
  2. Raise both arms over your head
  3. Lean forward as you bring your right leg back behind you
  4. Form a “T” with your body, creating a straight line from your fingertips to your ankle
  5. Bring your right foot back to the ground as your raise up
  6. Repeat with planting your right foot and raising your left foot behind you


Tips to keep in mind:

  • Hold each pose for as long as you comfortably can
    • Begin with 20 seconds if you need to, and then build from there—it’s not a race! :)
  • Start with your “weaker” leg
    • It probably won’t be noticeably weaker, but you’ll most likely feel your dominant side a little stronger (so if you’re right-handed, it may be your right leg).
  • Having and keeping a point of focus is HUGE!
    • It doesn’t matter if it’s a pebble or a flower—pick something that won’t move and concentrate on it! When I start to think about my balance, I always fall over. :)
  • Remember to breathe!!!
    • Not only does breathing make the whole situation easier and healthier, it strengthens your core, too!


And for my true Karate Kid fans in the house (hey ’80’s babies!), I decided to have a little bit of fun with the ending sequence of #3 and a new song – enjoy!! :)



How do you work on your balance?

I’d love to hear your response + any other thoughts you have below.


Looking forward to learning more!




Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.