No matter whether you are a runner, court or field sport athlete or you do extreme sports, balance is generally one of those unspoken entities that is often forgotten about.
You do not have to be an “athlete’ to benefit from balance training either. Whether you like motorbike riding, hunting or hiking, balance is critical to do what you want to do well in general.
People stand out who have flawless, uninterrupted balance. They seem to have great movement “flow” and can do things effortlessly that others just cannot.
So, is it something you can improve and train? Short answer is ABSOLUTELY!
This is why we have started a specific balance program where we will train balance in a small-group setting and a 1-1 setting for people who want or need 1-1 coaching. The programming will be unique to each individual from a holistic viewpoint, however some of the balance progressions we will teach, we will show and teach everyone to let you try different positions and challenges of balance and coordination together.
So, here are some basic tests and training drills that anyone can do.
- Stand on one leg for 1 minute with your eyes open.
2. Stand on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Bear in mind, this is hard if not done before. Stand close to a wall or something to hang onto to start with. Start with shorter times if this is hard. It takes away the visual system as an assister of balance to you.
3. Get a pillow or a piece of compressed foam, or a few rolled up towels and stand on them with one leg for 30-60 seconds with your eyes open. Add arm and non-stance leg movement to create a perturbance in balance to react to. If you want to get creative, now go back to the number 1 drill, and add throwing and catching a ball either in juggling, against a wall or onto the ground to further challenge your concentration and coordination under some stress.
4. Using Distraction techniques to help you balance. Most sports do not rely on you “looking” where you land as such. You have to rely on your body’s ability to react to different stimulus. This video goes over some of the foundations of unstable surface balance and distraction techniques
Ok, now you see that balance is about so much more than just balancing on one foot! It is about controlling your body position no matter the difficulties that are put upon you. This is why people who are just good at balance seem to flow when they move. They have an innate ability through naturally gifted senses and then training these to just assess where to put their body parts in relation to the centre of gravity to keep the body balanced no matter the position they find themselves in. Everyone can be better than you are today if you spend 5 minutes per day, imagine how good you will be in 2-3 weeks.
Post your comments on our Facebook Page, or send them to us at Vector Health through our website, or through email.
All of our coaches are passionate about balance and the role it plays in performance of any kind so we love to hear your ideas, stories of improvement and see you working on this in the gym.
Simple things done very very well will work in this context, you can get crazy funky or you can just work on basics and still improve.
Good luck with the progressions and please let us know if you have any questions. If you are after a challenge, performance improvement with balance and you want to learn more about the artform of creating better balance, please reach out and find out how you can register into our specific balance program!