Loni Works It Out: I Am Unstable

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Mar. 5 2010, Published 2:19 p.m. ET

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I am unstable.

True Story. Okay, friends, family and co-workers, you can stop violently nodding your heads in agreement. I am not referring to my inability to show up anywhere on time, my tendency to be overly passionate about everything or any other personality quirks (or dare I say flaws?) that I might posses. What I mean is, I am not exactly a ballerina when it comes to stability exercises.

My new DavidBartonGym trainer, Derrick Smit, is all about exercises that involve stability. He insists that it will strengthen and tone my core and extremities as well as force me to engage mentally, which is important, since we tend to just go through the motions of exercise, not really controlling our muscles. When you do this, not only do you risk injury by utilizing the wrong muscle groups, but you’re not going to see results. This is why so many people who work out never see any change in their body. Technique and form are essential.

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Also, doing these movements that involve so much focus really awaken you mentally and make you realize how strong you can be. It can get frustrating, and Derrick always reminds me that unless you are a Ninja (I unfortunately am not), shaking or falling is completely normal.L


The very first stability/concentration exercise he had me do, which looked like a cheerleader-meets-samurai combination, seems a bit intimidating, but I am sort of getting the hang of it. The very first time I tried it my legs were shaking uncontrollably, which is a very weird sensation to experience if you haven’t before, and I realized how little control I had over my movements.

Also, the key to successfully completing this is to keep your rib cage lifted and, finding a spot on the wall to fixate on (no, a very cute trainer will not do, since he’s probably not going to stay in one place). When you find a spot to focus on you can channel your concentration into slowly moving yourself where you need to go. This is what dancers call "spotting," and it’s how they get through hundreds of turns in a row without crashing or getting really dizzy. Although I do not recommend trying the hundreds of turns, I do suggest you give it a go with the stability moves. Let me know how stable you are!

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THE LUNGING NINJA (Yep, I named this myself. I’m sure Derrick has a much more sophisticated name for it.)

1. Step forward into a lunge with your right leg, with weights in hand (I started with 5 lb weights).

2. When rising up out of the lunge, instead of bringing your feet together, bend your left knee (like a flamingo) and stand up very straight.

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3. Now, while standing as still as possible on your one leg, slowly curl your arms up (a hammer curl – which means that your hands are facing each other and the weights are held vertically.)

4. Next, open your arms, pressing your shoulders back together, until your arms are at 90 degree angles at your sides, the weights should be about as high as your shoulders.

5. Then, raise both arms into an overhead press. Slowly lower back down to shoulder level, then curl down to staring position, and repeat on opposite leg.

Easy, right?

If you have any questions hit me up on Twitter @LoniWorksItOut and I’ll answer anything — promise!


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