If you constantly trip over your own feet, fall down for no reason, or find yourself covered in mysterious bruises, you're probably a clumsy person. It's not glamorous -- shattered iPhone cases and a constant stream of minor injuries are nothing to be proud of -- but it also doesn't have to be permanent.
That's where these exercises come in. Selected by ACE-certified personal trainer instructor Christian Koshaba, they're designed to help with balance, core strength, and stability. You may not gain the grace of a gazelle, but your number of self-inflicted injuries is sure to go down. Extra clumsy? Make sure you have a friend nearby to prevent any klutzy fitness disasters from happening.
Hold a free weight, kettlebell, or even a milk jug, and elevate over your head with your right arm. While holding the weight, lunge forward with the left leg (or backwards for backwards lunges). This helps isolate one side while the other side performs the lunge, Koshaba says. Do 10-15 on one side, then switch; hold the weight with the left arm, and lunge with the right.
Attach a resistance band to a banister or pole or chair, and place either on your waist or 2-3in above the knee. Start with the right foot, and step out to the point that you feel tension. You want to keep your heel and toes in line as well as your knee, as you step forward into a lunge. Fight to keep your knee in line with the toes. Perform 10 forward and 10 backwards, then switch to the left foot and repeat.
Turn a BOSU trainer upside down with the blue side down on the ground. Make sure that you space your feet about shoulder-width apart (imagine you're sitting in a chair), and drive your heels while you squat, keeping your feet firmly planted. The goal throughout the movement is to retain balance and to have the least amount of movement (aside from the squatting down part). Begin with five, and work your way to 15.
Stabilize yourself by holding a broomstick, weighted bar, PVC pipe, or a chair. With one leg elevated, squat on the opposite leg. Perform five to 10 reps on each side.
One-leg suspended lunge
Using a TRX, bench, or chair, elevate your right leg behind you with toes pointed down. Drop the same suspended knee toward the ground, into a lunge squat. Perform five to 10 reps, then switch legs and repeat on left side. Focus on going deep with front-foot heels and toes planted on the ground.
Hold a kettlebell or free weight with your right arm, and keep your left foot on the ground. Create a T with your body by bending forward. Pause, and return to starting position, squeezing the glutes. Perform five to 10 reps, and switch, holding the weight with your left arm, and keeping your right foot on the ground.
Position your heels together at a 45-degree angle (like you're creating a pizza slice with your feet). Hold a kettlebell or some other weight with your elbows together to trap the weight. Elevate with your heels up, and slowly descend into a squat with the weight close to your chest. Maintain a squat as low as possible, and slowly extend the weight out while contracting your abs and glutes. Pull the weight back into the chest while maintaining elevated heels and press to the top. Do 10 reps total.
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