Hubby and I say HELLO from Disney World! We’re here to learn about Disney’s Youth Sports Programs at the Wide World of Sports – I’ll be sure to recap our experience this weekend later in the week!
For this week’s Training Tip of the Week, I wanted to touch on Balance and Stability! Balance and Stability training are both vital to beginning someone’s fitness journey for a multitude of reasons. They both help to engage the core and strengthen the powerhouse that balances the whole body and also help to correct any overcompensation issues that may exist before starting into more difficult training methods that require alignment first. Balance and Stability are ALSO both areas to CONTINUE focusing on and blending into our fitness plans so that we maintain that focus on a consistent basis too!
WHY should we take time for Balance and Stability training? We tend to create a lot of our own imbalances from our every day habits – and these aren’t habits we should be blamed for, they’re a way of life. Whether we’re sitting at a desk or sitting in a car – we can cause our hip flexors to be overactive – we can even sit ON a leg we favor worsening that situation. I wrote HERE about how sitting can be pretty bad for us, so how can we correct some of these issues?
There isn’t a lot of equipment or time needed in order to target Balance and Stability work. Sometimes there are modalities you can blend in such as balance bars, a Bosu platform, or balance pad – but they’re not necessary per say.
Above are a few ideas for Balance and Stability exercises you can do at least once a week.
Standing Balance: Standing with the back in neutral spine but with good posture, decide on a leg to balance on to start. Slowly lift the other leg to a 90 degree bend and hold for at least 10 seconds before lowering it and switching to the other side. You can progress this movement by adding movement and side stepping with a larger range of motion or even adding in a hop.
Extended Leg Balance: To progress the Standing Balance even further, you can extend the leg once balanced at 90 degrees to also enhance quadricep strength before bending again and lowering back down.
Single Leg Reach: Once you’ve nailed down the Standing Balance and Extended Reach, you can add in a reach down to the standing leg’s foot. Before doing this, ensure that the standing leg is slightly bent or enough to make sure that leg isn’t hyper-extended.
The key to Balance work is to test out which side has the most balance and identify which needs more help – we always have one side that’s a little slower than the other. Making each side of the body work independently forces them to work better as a cohesive unit over time!
Hopscotch – another fun idea, just saying.
Do you need more time spent with Balance and Stability training?
What habits do you have that could cause some imbalances?