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Cardio Core and Balance

Cardio exercise is so critical to optimizing your overall wellness and fitness. However, for those with balance issues or lower back problems, sometimes doing some cardio exercises can be quite challenging and harmful. Here I discuss some great exercises that combine core excises and cardio techniques that can help improve not only your balance but also strengthen muscles that support your mid and lower back. Or just simply wanting a six-pack? But keep in mind that exercise alone will not do this, so you will also need a healthy balanced diet. Having a strong core adds stability and balance to your body. Here are a few great exercises that can be helpful additions to your fitness routine or workout program and will help strengthen your core and balance by incorporating some cardio. Please consult a medical professional first if you have any injuries or medical conditions to ensure you can perform certain physical activities. You should definitely stop any stretches or exercises if you experience pain.

Fitness enthusiast performing a side plank exercise in a gym with kettlebells and workout equipment, showcasing strength and balance, with nutritional supplements on the floor

Warming Up & Stretching

Incorporating warm-ups prior to any workout routines is highly recommended. Warming up and doing certainly dedicated stretching routines have many benefits. For example, it helps increase blood flow, significantly decreases the risk of injury, improves coordination and flexibility, and can help improve balance. By stretching, this helps also release muscular tension and limits the chance of pulling or overextending muscles. Generally, it is recommended that you try holding a stretch for at least 10-30 seconds and repeat for at least 3 times. Also critical is making sure you don’t hold your breath during warm-up sessions but better to focus on trying to sustain measured slow breaths. These techniques always help improve the effectiveness of workouts as they help decrease the risk of injury and increase the oxygen supply to your muscles.

Here are a few great cardio core workouts that also help improve balance!

Core Exercises

I love the video below by Well + Good that covers 6 excellent core exercises as these will also help improve not only your balance but your back muscles. Techniques include mountain climbers, three plank positions (low planks, high planks, side planks), hollow rocks, and single-leg sit-ups. At times these routines may seem challenging, so I recommend taking water breaks and recovering.

Downward dog

Downward dog is excellent at improving blood flow but also helps stretches the calves, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and lower back. It also can help improve lower back pain in many people. Here Tom Merrick shows a great way of proper technique when doing downward dog and ways to progress safely. Check it out!

Inchworm Walk

The inchworm walk helps stretch the hamstrings, tones hip flexors, shoulder muscles and improves core muscles. Here is a short demonstration video to walk you through how to perform the inchworm walk which certainly will improve your core and balance. great way of proper technique when doing downward dog and ways to progress safely. Check it out!


Either you are a fan of burpees, or it is an exercise that you run away from. Most importantly, proper technique is necessary to not only avoid injury but to actually get the benefits of a cardio core and balance workout that burpees can offer quickly. Here is a great video demonstrating proper techniques to avoid injuries as well as reviewing the importance of starting slowly. Check it out below!

Water Break and Cooling Down

It is best to cool down after an intense workout instead of abruptly stopping as this helps to gently lower your heart rate. By doing this, your body comes to a better steady state after cardio exercise. Cooling down should definitely include stretching as this helps relieve any tension that has built up during the exercise but stretching also helps decrease the risk of cramping and injury. Slow breaths are crucial during this period as well as ensuring that you are highly hydrated either with water or an electrolyte replacement drink that helps restore any minerals or electrolytes lost.

Interested in learning more?

Check out our Mind & Body page for more movement articles!

Dr. Tyrrell Jenkins

Hi, I'm Dr. TJ

Health Coach + Experienced Physician

Dr. Tyrrell Jenkins, affectionately known as Dr. TJ, has practiced medicine in 4 areas, including outpatient primary care, urgent care, hospital medicine, and the intensive care unit, which are all unique and have given him a significant breath of clinical experience that many physicians do not possess. This has allowed him to assess and manage the continuum of diseases.


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