Whether you are trying to overcome general clumsiness or just want to improve your poise and confidence, there are certain exercises that help to make you more graceful. Activities that focus on developing balance and coordination, especially those that strengthen core muscles, can improve posture and promote a graceful stature. While not all of these exercises may be right for you, feel free to experiment and find a style you enjoy. Be sure and talk to your doctor before beginning any fitness program.
Yoga is widely used to help improve balance and posture. It is an ancient art form that is designed to bring balance and harmony to the mind, body and spirit. Many associate yoga with flexibility, and while this is one element of yoga, it also incorporates a number of balancing poses that can strengthen core muscles. To improve your coordination, try including poses such as Eagle, Chair, Tree and Warrior into your regular workout routine.
Much like yoga, Tai Chi is an ancient practice that requires focus and concentration. Its fluid movements, sometimes referred to as "meditation in motion" incorporate stretching, strengthening and balancing exercises. According to the National Institutes of Health, Tai Chi may even help those with debilitating illness improve their motor skills. Researchers from the Oregon Research Institute found that regular practice of Tai Chi helped Parkinson's patients improve posture and gait instability. It also appears to have long-lasting effects.
Nothing says grace quite like ballet. Professional dancers are revered for their graceful features both on and off the dance floor. And although ballet does require a certain amount of flexibility, balance and control, several of the basic positions can even be mastered by beginners. Consider adding plies, or gentle bends, tendus, or toe points, and releves, or heel raises to your normal warm-up exercises. Practice these steps slowly and deliberately, using a wall or chair to aid with balance if needed.
Gymnastics is a great way to build strength and improve balance and coordination. Trained gymnasts are taught to hold their head high, keep their shoulders back and feet planted. However, you do not need a professional trainer to benefit from gymnastics. A pike stretch, or seated-forward bend, helps to elongate the leg muscles and improve flexibility. Handstands and headstands help strengthen core muscles and improve balance. Backbends help lengthen as well as strengthen the spine and back muscles.
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One powerful exercise that you may not have thought of to develop grace is swimming. Not only is swimming a great stress-free way to burn calories, it helps strengthen just about every muscle in your body. Women's Health especially recommends the back stroke to strengthen back and shoulder muscles, and breast stroke to improve muscle tone in the hips and inner thighs.
A professional writer since 2008, Tracey Planinz writes articles on natural health, nutrition and fitness. She holds a doctorate and two professional certifications in her field, and continues to develop her education with additional classes and seminars. She has provided natural health consultations and private fitness instruction for clients in her local community.