Improve Your Sense of Dynamic Balance
There are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance is the ability to remain stable and in equilibrium when you aren’t moving. Dynamic balance is the ability to remain stable when you’re moving. Both are important for sports performance and functionality in everyday life.
One way to improve dynamic balance is to do plyometric drills that involve lateral movements. Place a resistance tube on the floor. Stand on one side of the tube and jump to the other side using both feet. Keep jumping back and forth, varying the speed and height of your jumps. Single leg lateral hops are another good exercise for developing dynamic balance and power.
With lateral plyometric drills you’re building power, burning calories and improving balance at the same time. Pretty good deal, huh?
Take Advantage of Opportunities to Work on Balance
You can work on balance while you’re standing in line or cooking in the kitchen. While you’re washing dishes, raise one leg off the ground and hold it up. For an even more challenge, close your eyes. It’s much more difficult to balance on one leg with your eyes closed because your brain doesn’t get input from your visual system. If you can stand on one foot with your eyes open for a minute or more, you’re doing well. When you do exercises on mat, try to get up from a sitting position without using your hands. It may take strength and balance to do this and it’s a good way to challenge yourself.
The Bottom Line?
It’s easy to neglect balance exercises when you’re busy strength training. The good news is you can modify strength training moves to add more of a balance challenge. Don’t underestimate the importance of improving balance as you age. It reduces the risk of sports injuries and helps to prevent injuries when you play sports and when you do your daily activities.
For more fit tips, contact our Fitness Director/Certified Personal Trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.