The Wobble Factor: Balance Training - May 17th, 2011

Balance is an important part of our day-to-day living.   It is not just for the young or for the gymnast-in-training.  Balance is a form of stability training that is a “must have” for long term joint health and mobility.  This type of training allows our muscles to fire at the right time and at the right intensity which keeps us from falling.

I’ve heard several clients just brush if off and say, “I have never had good balance” or my ultimate favorite, “I’m just getting old.”  Balance  involves your nerves communicating to your muscles and then your muscles responding to that communication.  That communication may be slow, sluggish, or just imbalanced.  But this is my favorite thing: our bodies are amazing.  You can train your body’s response to balance.  Micro-progression is the key (this is just a fancy word for “baby steps”).   Teach your body new skills and then slowly change the difficultly upon your successful completion of the movement.

Examples of balance training:

1.  For those who are new to balance training:  try standing on your left foot but hanging onto something with your right arm.  Once you can do that for 30 seconds, try standing on your left foot and use your left arm to hang onto something.  Upon completion, try letting go of the wall, or just holding on with a few fingers.  Get the idea.

2.  Another example is to try standing on one foot while doing typical “two foot” exersices.  For example, while doing a bicep curl or shoulder press, try standing on one foot or use your other foot to just barely touch the floor for a little bit of support.  NOTE:  When you take away 1/2 of your support base, you will not be as strong as you would be with your full support base.  For this reason, use as lighter form of resistance so that you can still complete the exercise in good form.

It is important to incorporate balance training into your exercise routine no matter your age or activity level.  This will keep you “healthy” overall and active for a lifetime.

Do you have questions about balance?  Drop me a note!

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