Staying active may be the fabled “fountain of youth!” Maintaining flexibility in our joints and muscles helps prevent loss of mobility associated with normal aging and keeps us in tip top shape for everyday activities. Since so many of our tasks rely on the reaching, lifting, pulling and pushing motions we make with our body, it’s easy to see how staying flexible can help in all areas of maintaining our independence, now and as we age.
Plate Balancing Exercise incorporates all of these motions as it increases core balance, making it an ideal way to warm up your muscles and joints as you begin your day. And while we tend to think of using weights to develop greater upper body strength, the movement incorporated in this exercise use the body’s own resistance to strengthen the muscles of the upper body as well. Focus on making smooth movements and have fun with this simple exercise routine as you improve body coordination and concentration and increase flexibility in your shoulders, wrists, hips and knee joints! Here’s how:
Plate Balancing Exercise can be practiced with or without plates, just be sure to keep the palms up at all times.
Stand with hips shoulder width apart. Place your right foot forward, left foot back, and solidify your stance by sinking into your hips a bit. Place your left hand, palm up holding the plate, behind your back. Extend your right palm and the other plate forward. To begin the movement, pull the right hand back, “in” toward your chest. Next, move the plate under your right arm and forward then, still facing up to balance the plate, extend it “out.” Now, rotate it “around” over your head, and return to the front. Repeat on opposite side and then try both sides at once. Strive for fluid, whole upper body movement balanced on a sturdy core body and strong legs. Watch a video and practice along until you have mastered the movements.
For extra fun, try Plate Balancing Exercise with a partner or friends. You’ll be smiling your way to increased balance and flexibility in no time!
Dear Reader: We would love to hear from you! Please share your Plate Balancing Exercise experience in the comment section below.
— Lynn A. Trombetta