The balance beam....when thinking of this obstacle most people think of gymnastics. They imagine a gymnast walking across a beam approximately 5" wide, performing jumps and flips with grace and ease. But when it comes to the Spartan Military Sprint THINK AGAIN! This "balance beam" obstacle was a slippery muddy log that crossed over the top of a 5 foot deep trench filled with muddy water. Maybe in the early part of the day there were Spartans that walked (or ran) gracefully across the log, however by the time that our Summit Fit Dojo Spartans reached the obstacle, participants were choosing to take a seat and scoot across. Can you blame them?!? No one wanted to fall into another mud pit this close to the end of the obstacle course! You may think that scooting across a log doesn't take much skill or athleticism, but it does. First of all, if you don't have good balance then you won't be making it too far across anything, on your feet OR on your bottom. How do you achieve balance? By having a strong core. The core is the center of your body. No it is not just the abdominal muscles, as many people believe it to be. The core muscle groups run from the shoulders to the hips. One must have good muscle strength and control in this entire area to have good balance. And as you have heard me say time and time again in previous articles....ALL of Summit Fit Dojo's workouts will challenge the core. One of our members favorite exercises for working the core is the Overhead Kettlebell Flutter Kicks. Flutter....sounds easy enough right? To perform this exercise correctly you must lie flat on your back, extend your arms straight up and slightly forward so that you are holding a kettlebell (18# or more!) with elbows locked just above your upper abdominal area. Then you must raise your head of the floor, lift your legs from the hips, and take turns performing flutter kicks with the right and left leg, never letting them touch the ground. Do this for one minute at a time, and see how your shoulders, chest, abs, and hips feel. Overhead Kettlebell Flutter Kicks will not only improve your core strength and balance to help you scoot across the beam, but they will also help to build upper body strength, which you will need as you must push off from the log with your upper body to help you scoot across. The balance beam was one obstacle that everyone was happy to complete, leaving just four more to finish the course! How's your balance? Are you on a steady course to health and wellness? Check out Summit Fit Dojo. Let our certified personal trainers work with you to conquer those fitness obstacles, and get on a healthy course that is sustainable for the long term!