A few posts back we discussed proprioception, our ability to know where we are positionally, and our sense of movement. I showed the short foot exercise, which is a powerful precursor to balance training. In this post, I am providing a video to get you started on balance training. By balancing–and constantly being challenged while balancing–proprioceptors become conditioned, and this will help you gain stability, strength and endurance.
A great beginners balancing exercise that comes from yoga is called “tree pose“. Watch the video to get an idea of how to do a tree pose, and practice daily. You, can challenge yourself by simply bringing the hands to the chest in a prayer pose. This simple movement will increase the difficulty of tree pose significantly. For even more challenge, you can eventually raise your arms in the air (harder) and start looking up to the ceiling while maintaining the two poses (even harder). Have fun.
Another great balancing exercise is called “one-legged balancing“. This is simpler in that you do not have to worry about placing you feet or hands to get into the pose. To challenge yourself you can have a friend throw a ball, keys or any other object for you to catch while maintaining balance. Juggling chainsaws will come later; just master the one-legged balance while being challenged and you’ll soon be ready for the next level–the rocker board!
Watch the video to get the best rudimentary exercises for balancing, and thus training your proprioceptive system. Believe me when I say that everything from your athletic performance to your ability to remain pain free relies on it. Happy balancing.