Exercises to Develop Better Balance

Chris Freytag’s recommends some useful exercises to improve one’s balance in the article, “5 Exercises for Better Balance.”


***Please note: Some of the exercises suggested require a BOSU which is a “half ball with a flat platform” (Freytag, 2020).

1. Tree Pose

Tree pose is great on the floor, a folded mat, or BOSU. It strengthens your ankles, improves your balance, and engages your core.

  • Stand with feet together, spine tall, and arms outstretched. If you are on a BOSU, you can use either side, ball or flat.

  • Slowly lift your left foot up to the side of your calf and balance on the right foot only.

  • Slowly lift arms overhead to make the branches of the tree. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

2. Single Leg Dead Lift

With or without dumbbells, this move not only strengthens your hamstrings and glutes, but it also challenges your balance and activates your abdominal wall.

  • Stand on either the ball side of a BOSU or the floor (as pictured) with feet close together and put most of your weight onto your right foot.

  • Stare at a focal point on the floor in front of you and slowly lower your torso to the ground while lifting your left leg behind you. Keep your spine neutral and reach your hands toward the floor.

  • Stop when your back is parallel to the floor. Keep your right knee soft.

  • Squeeze your hamstrings, glutes, and abs as you slowly raise back up and return your back foot to the floor.

  • Switch sides. Try for 8 deadlifts on each side.


3. Dead Bug

This is one of the best core exercises around. It challenges the transverse abdominus (your deep core muscles) and improves core stability.

  • Sit down just in front of the bull's-eye center of a BOSU, placing feet wide and stable on the floor.

  • Slowly lower your back until you are laying on the BOSU with your lower back on or slightly in front of the bull's-eye. You will adjust this in a moment.

  • Draw abdominals in toward your midline and reach your arms out wide.

  • Slowly lift one leg at a time, keeping them wide so that your arms and legs now resemble a dead bug.

If this is too difficult for you to hold for a few seconds, push your body back a few inches so that more of your lower back and glutes are on the BOSU.


4. Squats on BOSU

Adding the unstable surface of a BOSU to your basic squat will train your body to engage all the right muscles at the right time.

  • Stand on the ball side of a BOSU with feet hip-width apart.

  • Sit back into squat position with weight sinking into your heels.

  • Engage your glutes and hamstrings as your press back up to standing position. Try 8 to 10 reps.

5. Balancing Reverse Lunges

Lunges are naturally a balance activity because you are ending up on one leg at a time. Standing on a BOSU or a folded mat will make them even more of a challenge.

  • Stand on the top of the ball side of the BOSU with feet close together.

  • Bending the right knee, slowly stretch the left leg behind you onto the floor until both knees are bent.

  • Press straight up through your right leg as you return the left foot to the top of the BOSU. Switch legs. Try for 8 to 10 lunges per leg.

For more details, please check out Chris Freytag’s full article provided in the References section.



References:

Freytag, C. (2020, Jun. 10). 5 Exercises for Better Balance. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/exercises-for-better-balance-3498203

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