The Strength & Balance Challenge: Can You Hold These Poses for 1 Whole Minute?

avatarRebecca Rasmussen

Challenge yourself to hold these six poses for one minute each!

We all know that staying active is important for our health and well-being, but it’s easy to let exercise fall to the wayside after a long day at work or school.

If this sounds all too familiar, try setting aside just six minutes for this full-body strengthening challenge. It’s the perfect quick reset when your body is feeling sluggish and needs a quick boost of energy.

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These six poses will build strength in all the major muscles of the body, including the core, glutes, thighs, arms, and back muscles. Muscle strength is important for everyday simple activities that we might take for granted. If we don’t activate our muscles daily over time, we lose strength – which can cause imbalances of the body. (1)

Unlike other exercise routines, there are no reps here! Instead, you’ll aim to hold each pose for one minute each (or 30 seconds per side for poses with two sides) while keeping your core stable. These longer holds work to build strength and stamina in the muscles that are working – and you’ll definitely work each and every muscle with these six poses!

Grab a friend, co-worker, or family member to try this challenge with you. All you need is a stop watch!

The Strength & Balance Challenge

Chair Pose | 1 min


This pose strengthens the glutes, thighs, shoulders, and back muscles, tightening up your whole body all at once.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, toes facing forward.
  2. Send your hips back and down like you’re going to sit in an imaginary chair. Set your hands on your thighs, arch your lower back and push down on your thighs to lengthen the front of the body. Then engage your abs and reach your arms above your shoulders.
  3. Keep reaching through the fingertips as you hold for 1 minute. On every inhale, get longer in the spine. On each exhale, sit a little lower.

Note: Don’t forget to breathe slowly in and out through the nose. Focusing on your breath will help you get through the minute in no time.

Forearm Plank | 1 min


This pose strengthens all the muscles of the core to support the spine and stabilize the body.

  1. Start in tabletop position. Lower down to your forearms with your hands clasped and your elbows underneath your shoulders.
  2. Straighten one leg at a time behind you, keeping your feet together.
  3. Push down into your forearms and engage your core muscles. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe.
  4. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose as you hold for one minute.

Note: It’s important to keep good posture in this exercise, because otherwise, you could hurt your lower back. If you feel your hips sinking, engage your core even more and push the ground away with your forearms. If you need to, drop to your knees for a modified plank.

Downward Facing Dog | 1 min


This pose energizes the whole body while stretching and strengthening your hamstrings, calves, and arms.

  1. Start in tabletop position with knees hip-width distance apart.
  2. Tuck your toes and send your hips up and back to create a diagonal line from hands to hips.
  3. Breathe here for one minute, then slowly return to tabletop position.

Note: If your hamstrings feel tight here, widen your feet and bend your knees as much as you need.

Side Plank | 30 secs per side


This pose strengthens the whole body, especially the obliques.

  1. Lie on your right side with your feet stacked on top of each other.
  2. Engage your abs and press down into your right hand and foot to lift the hips off of the ground. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet. Your left hand can come to your hip or reach towards the ceiling.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Note: To modify, you can either lower to your forearm or stagger your feet for more stability.

High Lunge | 30 secs per side


This pose strengthens the legs while stretching the hip flexors.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, arms by your side.
  2. Inhale to reach the arms overhead, then exhale to bend your knees and step one foot back.
  3. With the ball of your back foot on the ground, activate your core and reach your arms up.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Note: If you’re having a hard time balancing, bring your hands to your hips and concentrate on the stability of your legs. Imagine a block in between your legs and hug your legs diagonally toward each other.

Bridge Pose | 1 min


This pose opens the chest and shoulders while strengthening the glutes and back muscles.

  1. Lie on your back with your feet hip-width distance apart, feet on the floor. Your hands should rest by your sides, palms facing down.
  2. Press down into the hands and heels to lift your hips off the ground. You should feel activation in the glutes, but no crunching in the lower back.
  3. Hold for one minute. As you hold, imagine you have a block in between your thighs. Squeeze the block to activate the inner thigh muscles.

Note: If you don’t feel it in your glutes, lift all ten toes up off the ground and press straight down into your heels. This will fire them up!


Your Next Workout: 21-Day Easy Bodyweight Challenge (Tone and Strengthen)

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