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Balance and Backward Diagonal Reach

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Start by standing tall and balancing on your left leg, fold your arms behind your back like a speedskater.  Now reach back and diagonally to your left with your right leg.  Try to keep your foot within one inch of the floor but don't touch the floor. Reach as far back as you can, allowing the left hip and knee to bend in order to really extend your reach. 

Return to the start position and repeat.  Do all your reps on one side before switching to the other side. 

You should feel the muscles in the buttocks and leg working hard to stabilize you.  Make sure you reach only as far as you are able to without any discomfort in your knee joint or back. 

Key Points:
  • Keep your hands behind your back and don't let the foot touch the floor.  If you have trouble with your balance, you can put your arms out or touch a wall if needed.
  • Keep your back straight throughout the movement.  Pivot from the hips, not spine.
  • The farther you reach, the more challenging the exercise.
  • Works all the muscles of the hips as well as the thigh and lower leg/foot.