Balance is everything! Your emotional, spiritual, and physical state all affect each other, and an imbalance can permeate your entire life. Do your best to prevent this by giving each area some time and attention. Today we’re exploring the physical side, which can be addressed and improved via specific training. First, we’ll cover some of the benefits of balance training (it’s not just for athletes!), and then continue on to explore six great exercises you can do to develop better balance.
Benefits of Balance Training
Who doesn’t want to burn extra fat? It’s simple: the more muscles you use, the more calories you burn. Burn a ton of calories during your workout by focusing on core exercises that recruit many muscles and ultimately help your balance.
Agility isn’t just for athletes. Agility helps everyone switch directions and avoid life’s many obstacles on a daily basis by helping you maintain balance and control. Think about it: We encounter surprises all the time, whether we are walking and having to quickly avoid a biker or dog on the sidewalk, or maybe we’re running and have to skip around a rock in the road. Having good agility prepares us for all sorts of physical challenges.
Injury prevention works two ways: There’s acute injury and chronic injury. Better balance helps with both!
- Acute Injury is defined as a sudden event that usually results in a traumatic event. These events can happen when we lose our balance and fall, or if one side of our body simply takes more weight than it can handle and an injury is caused. If we can develop good balance, we can avoid or recover quicker from these kinds of situations.
- Chronic Injury can be explained as an overuse injury. These develop slowly and last a long time. If we do not work on our balance, we can develop compensatory injuries. For example: If someone has a weak right leg because of a fall, he would tend to use his left leg more and more. Over time, his left leg can develop a chronic injury because of overuse. This is a great reason for a balanced approach to exercise. Share the load with your many muscles!
Alright, enough explanation. Let’s get to the exercises…
Better Balance Training Exercises
Single Leg Squat – Plant one foot near the bench, keep your back straight, other leg extended, and stand up.
Contralateral Split Squat with a Shoulder Press – Make sure to keep the Kettlebell close to the chest and on your open side during the squat, and engage your core during the shoulder press.
TRX Single Arm Press – Keep your core tight while pressing. And step away from the TRX anchor to modify.
TRX Single Arm Row – Move your feet closer to the anchor to increase resistance. Keep your body squared up with the TRX and avoid leaning to one side or another.
Single Leg Deadlifts – Put the Kettlebell on the same side that’s on the ground. Help your balance by extending your back leg, and keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
BOSU Kneeling Two Point Balance – This one is basically a bird dog with your knees on the BOSU ball.
Stay tuned for a full BOSU ball workout. It’s perfect for working your core and improving balance.