Workout of the Week: Karate Kid Finisher

Add this sequence to the end of your next workout to challenge your core and balance.

Woman in Warrior III yoga pose

Author and yoga teacher Sage Rountree has a simple sequence to use as a finisher to your workout. This is especially beneficial to cyclists as it targets hip stability by engaging the quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings.

“I think it’s a fabulous movement that hits many points in the chain that cyclists need,” Rountree told Fast Talk. “A hip strength, hamstring strength, core strength, and awareness of where you are in space, even while you’re moving, which is really critical for balance.”

The sequence consists of two balancing movements from different disciplines: a karate crane stance and yoga Warrior III pose. The goal is to keep one foot off the ground while transitioning back and forth between the two poses.

“It’s kind of like the yoga equivalent of doing a reverse lunge to a front lunge and back again,” she said.

Transition slowly between each pose. If you’re struggling to stay balanced at the top of each movement, hold for one or two seconds at a time, working your way up to longer increments.

Rountree likes to introduce this sequence later in a yoga or Pilates session when the body is warmed up and the core activated. It’s a great add-on to an off-the-bike workout that builds stability and challenges you in a different way.

RELATED: The Art and Science of Yoga, with Sage Rountree

Workout of the Week: Karate Kid Finisher

  • 8 repetitions each leg Crane Stance to Warrior III

Stand on one leg, lifting the free knee to about waist height and raising your arms above your head. Kick the free leg forward, then bend your knee and swing your foot back to come into Warrior III. Reach the arms forward, in line with the torso and free leg that are parallel to the floor. The standing leg has a slight bend in the knee.

Without touching the ground, swing the back leg forward and up again, keeping the arms overhead to return to Crane. Repeat all reps on one side before switching.