Thanks to the molecules that get released when you exercise, working out your body also gives your brain a boost, too. But not every exercise itself specifically challenges you cognitively. That’s where this 15-minute coordination workout differs.
“Our bodies and brains are constantly accepting feedback from multiple systems to produce what looks like one unified movement,” Molly Frankinburger, DPT, PT, CSCS, previously told Well+Good. The result may seem simple, such as taking a step. But in truth, coordination is intricate work. It’s the ability to control your speed, timing, and direction. It involves taking in all sorts of information from your body and environment and translating that into actions, which are sometimes complex and involve multiple steps.
Having good coordination is worth the effort, though, because it helps us move smoothly (and without injury) through the world. So improving yours has benefits felt both immediately and long-term. Despite what you may have learned as a child, coordination exercises are not just about tapping your head and rubbing your belly at the same time, either. They can involve combining footwork with strength, activating muscles you didn’t know you have, or twisting and bending in ways that may originally make you go “huh?” Hence why they’re a workout for your body and mind.
And that’s exactly what Traci Copeland delivers in this 15-minute coordination workout. You’ll begin with a warm-up that focuses on activating your legs, shoulders, and core. The main series involves doing three sets of five full-body exercises. But they all contain a little something extra. For example, one move combines a warrior 3 pose that shifts forward into a knee drive, which will help you “strengthen those tiny muscles throughout your feet and your ankle” that promote balance. A “grapevine squat” will have you practically dancing, and Copeland challenges you to increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the movement. Don’t even get me started on her bear plank variation.
This video is challenging, but after just 15 minutes, you’ll feel satisfied that you’ve truly gotten a total-body workout from head to toes.