As much as we all take digs at the friend or family member who keeps tripping up, the truth is, nobody is born with poor balance. You can blame it on body proportions, clumsiness, or just bad luck, but being sure-footed takes practice.
The easiest way to improve one’s coordination is to simply stand up. The more we sit, and the less active our lifestyles are, the higher the chance our balance will deteriorate. But why invest our time in training for better balance? The answer is simple. It not only helps improve posture, but gives your spine stability, helps your performance if you enjoy playing a sport, increases stamina, and prevents serious injuries while working out.
Here’s how you can train your body to stay centered by engaging your core:
Stability Ball Leg & Arm Lift
Sit on a stability ball, arms by your sides and feet planted wide on the ground for support. Lift your right leg and extend it in front of you, while simultaneously lifting your left arm to shoulder height at your side. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side.
Tip: Use slow, controlled movements to retain your balance. Start off with 10-15 reps and move to 15-30 reps as your balance improves.
Dynamic Balance Leg Swing
Stand with your arms by your sides, toes pointed forward. Lift your right leg in front of you to 45 degrees, and then slowly swing your leg behind you to about the same height. That’s one rep. Continue swinging your leg back and forth for 10 to 15 reps before switching sides.
Tip: As your balance improves, slowly challenge yourself by making this exercise harder. Stand with your left arm extended straight up and your right arm at your side. As you lift the right leg forward, lean your torso backward so that your body creates a straight line from your head to your right foot. When the leg swings back, lean your torso to the front to maintain the straight line. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps before switching sides.
Advance Balancing Exercise
Stand in front of a table or chair, keeping a distance of 12 to 18 inches, with your feet slightly apart. Holding onto the table, lean forward and bend at the hips. Keeping your hips at a 45 degree angle, slowly lift your right leg and extend it behind you, keeping your knee straight. Do not point your toes or bend you upper body. Stay in this position for 2 seconds then return to standing position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat with your left leg. Alternate between both legs and do up to 10 repetitions per leg.
Tip: This exercise is complex enough; just increase the number of reps over time and push yourself to constrict your body to controlled movements.
Believe it or not, these exercises will work wonders for your balance and stamina, with the added benefits of perfect abs, and a great toned body. Besides, these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home, whenever you find the time.
Source: Fitbie.com; Image Courtesy: WikiHow