September Five Exercises For Leg And Back Strength And Standing Balance

Last month we worked single sided movements. This moth we cover a lot! Standing balance, back strength and stabilization and a really difficult Pilates move that requires core strength, hamstring flexibility and control. Can you do these with me right now? If you have gear at home gather a mat, a yoga block, a towel or small pillow to pad your knees, and weights (5, 8 or 10 lb.).

The September Five


  • Squat/ side kick



It’s hard to see what my leg is doing so here’s another view…

  • Swimming

  • Camel

I’ve been setting up against the wall for this back extension. The wall keeps me from pressing my hips too far forward. Hard to tell what I;m doing, so check out the next photo below…



  • Corkscrew

Oh boy, this one is a difficult, complicated move that requires strength, flexibility and control. Please do not attempt this if you have not already done it with me in a class or a training session. I’m showing bent knees, but you can also do it with straight legs.


  • Plank Rows


Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers these exercises as a reminder of what you have done with her in a private training session or a class. Please see your medical professional prior to starting a new exercise program.

Plank Rows For A Strong Core

I have been surprised by the amount of moans and groans (and occasionally cursing) I’ve been hearing when we do this move! I figured Burpies was going to be the exercise everyone loved to hate this month.

Plank Rows, one of the October five, are deceptively difficult if done correctly. Start with your knees down on the mat, as wide as the mat. Then move to straight knees and a more narrow stance as you get stronger.

Here is a perfect example of neutral spine, shoulders down away from ears, long neck, and level hips and shoulders.


Rick Plank Rows 1 edit October 2012


Rick Plank Rows 2 edit October 2012


These photos are meant to jog your memory of moves you and Anne have done together. Do not do any exercise that causes you pain. Questions? Contact Anne to schedule a one on one session or join an ongoing small group class. 

Build Core Strength With Plank Rows

This exercise has caused the most moaning and groaning from my clients so far this month. Here Rick demonstrates one of the October Five – Plank rows.

Rick Plank Rows October 2012

Start in a plank with feet as wide as the mat (knees down if needed). Now lift one hand. Keep your plank position, nothing else moves.

Rick Plank Rows 2 October 2012

This exercise works upper body, core, back, legs – everything! If you do not have access to dumbbells start in a plank and just lift one hand.

Plank Rows

Here is Rick Demonstrating Plank Rows, one of the October Five Exercises. With this move you strengthen your upper body, core, back, legs, just about everything!


Notice how he stabilizes his back and hips while lifting one hand.

This is the most challenging variation of this move (believe me – he is making it look easy).


You can also do this sans weights. Start in a plank position with knees down. Make sure your ear, shoulder, hip and knee make one line (look in a mirror if you need to). Now slowly lift one hand and lower it back down. Now try this with a 5 or 8 lb weight. In the photos Rick is holding the weights the whole time. If this bothers your hands or wrists place your hands flat on the ground instead and pick up one weight at a time.