What is Balance and why should be work at it?
‘Balance is how we are able to remain upright throughout the day.’
Balance is a component of fitness amoung muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. It is one of our motor skills, it is something that we take for granted even though we use it every day, picking up things from the floor, reaching into the cupboards, playing sports … the list goes on and we do not spend enough time working on it!
So what are the benefits?
- Improved performance in sports
- Walking straighter
- Improved core strength
- Be more agile
- Maintain optimal postural alignment when the body is challenged
- Better quality of life
- Faster balance reaction time
- Reduced risk of falls
How do I improve my balance?
Basically all you need to do is put yourself in an unstable environment, for example if you are doing standing bicep curls, trying standing on one leg or on one leg with your eyes closed.
Just by doing something as simple as that will immediately set you off balance making what originally started off as a simple exercise into a more challenging one.
Improving your balance can be as simple as standing on one leg and holding it for a few seconds, it depends on how good your balance already is …
Try sitting on a fit ball and raising one leg – see how long you can hold it, easy?
Try these exercise to really put your balance to the test!
Squats on the Bosu – it doesn’t matter which way you have the bosu whether it is flat or dome side up, try performing 10 squats without wobbling!
Single Leg Squat on the Stability Discs – want more of a challenge? Try a single leg squat on a stability disc – try to go as low as possible (if it’s too hard, try holding onto the wall first).
Press Ups on the Stability Discs – place your hands on the discs (you can do full or half press ups), keep your wrists fixed into position.
Chest Press on the Ball – try doing your chest press on the ball instead of the bench. Make sure your back, neck and shoulders are supported on the ball, keep your hips up.
Let us know how you get on!
By Kirsty Kemp
Reynolds at Rainham