This week we challenge you to balance, yep, balance. Balance is a very important component to integrate into any lifestyle. It is not only imperative to master as you age, it is a key component of all movement improving postural and neuromuscular control and is important for athletic training such as strength, speed, agility etc.
To balance start with a neutral stance: Feet hip width distance apart and facing forward, knees soft, chest up, shoulders down (pulled away from the ears) and core tight (braced as though someone were going to punch you in the stomach). Then transfer your weight (keeping the hips stable and level) to your right leg and bring your left knee up so your thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is at a 90 degree angle.
– Stand on one leg with your knee at a 90 degree angle and your thigh parallel to the ground. Hand on your hips or at your sides and gaze fixed on one spot. The goal is 30 seconds on each leg
– Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth.
– Stand on one leg while talking on the phone.
– Stand on one leg with your knee at a 90 degree angle and your thigh parallel to the ground. Hand on your hips or at your sides and rotate your gaze from right to left to looking up. The goal is 30 seconds on each leg
– Balance on one leg while standing on an unstable surface such as a foam mat or pillow.
– Balance on one leg while performing exercises such as biceps curls and overhead presses
– Stand on one leg with your knee at a 90 degree angle and your thigh parallel to the ground. Hands to the side standing in a door frame with your eyes closed. You can tap yourself back to standing if you tip over by using the door frame. The goal is 30 seconds on each leg
– Perform exercises on a more unstable surface than above such as a bosu
– Perform balance exercises such as a lunge to balance (or lunge to hip up and then balance), pistol squat or one leg squat on the hard side of a bosu or even a push up balancing on one leg with the other leg in the air. You can even try performing biceps curls or light shoulder exercises while kneeling on a Swiss Ball. Balance can be integrated into almost any exercise. While you might compromise by lowering the weight lifted you will improve in other areas.
Balance exercises are convenient to integrate into body weight exercises. Furthermore to help prevent injury and vary your routine, balance is a great addition to any strength routine especially on lighter, higher repetition days.
Image by: arztsamui