How to improve your balance

Hi guys,

Balance is an essential component of  human movement and movement and is necessary for all activities of daily living.

Balance training should be considered a absolute component of all exercise programming and should be trained early in the exercise program once core function has been established.

Training for Balance

By definition, “balance is the ability to maintain the body’s position over its base of support within stability limits, both statically and dynamically”.

It is important to know that the ability to balance can make the difference between leading an active lifestyle and being sedentary.

In order to truly understand what is meant by balance, we need to consider the  three mechanical principles that relate to alignment and the body: center of gravity, line of gravity and base of support.

Center of Gravity (COG)

Center of gravity (COG) is the point at which the mass of the body is considered to concentrate and where it is balanced on either side in all planes (frontal, sagittal and transverse).

On average, this point is at the level of the second sacral vertebrae, but changes depending on a person’s position in space and whether or not he or she is supporting external weight.

Line of Gravity (LOG)

Gravity acts on the body in a straight line through the COG toward the center of the earth. The line of gravity must fall within the base of support to maintain balance without moving.

Base of Support (BOS)

This is the area beneath the body that is encompassed when one continuous line connects all points of the body that are in contact of the ground.

How do we train balance?

Because the body’s center of mass(COM)  is located within the region of the core, controlling the COM within the BOS is critical to balance training.

Core conditioning and balance training may be viewed as the same, so we can follow the three-stage model for core and balance training.

Balance Stages

Here are some different conditions that cab be changed during stage 2 training and that will lead to safely transitioning to stage 3 training

  • Narrowing BOS (moving the feet closer together)
  • Raising COM (raising arms overhead)
  • Shifting LOG (raising arms unilaterally, leaning, rotating the trunk)
  • Sensory alteration (shifting focal point, looking up and down)
  • Sensory removal (closing eyes)
  • Reducing points of contact (move from two-feet balance to one foot)
  • Add unstable surfaces (BOSU balls, exercise balls)

Introduce each of these challenges separately and gradually increase the exercise difficulty. Always Introduce balance challenges on stable surfaces before moving on to an unstable surface.

Balance Stances

Balance is a key component of all programming and should be trained early in the exercise program once core function is established.

Increasing balance will not only enhance physical performance, but may also contribute to improved psychological and emotional states through the building of self-efficacy.

Stage 1 (core function) exercise examples:

Bird dog:

Front plank

Side plank

Glute bridge

Glute activation lunges

Inverted flyers

Here is a link to a great video that will show you different exercises with stance and difficulty variations for working in stage 2.

Stage 3 exercises examples:

Single leg balance with arm reach

Single leg balance with leg reaches

Forward lunge to balance

Lateral step up to balance

Lateral bound to balance

Make sure that when you are working on your balance skills, you work to challenge your core and glutes but also make sure that you are challenged but SAFE.

Balance is about preventing falls not causing them…

I do not own the rights to the pictures or the video.

Thank you http://www.acefitness.org/

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Ciao for now!

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20 minutes fat burning, calorie torching interval workout!

Hi guys,

All you need for this workout is a mat and a tabata timer set at 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

All exercise will be done two 20 seconds rounds, the second being a little harder/faster or slower.

This workout is 5 rounds without breaks.

Are you ready??

ROUND 1:

  • Shuffle side and drop 2 sets: Start on one side of the mat, shuffle low to the other side then drop into high plank. Second set is the set with adding high knees as you get yourself back up!
  • Lateral jump over mat 2 sets: Start on one corner of the mat and jump over it with both feet from left to right. Second set get your knees higher on the jump.
  • Split jump lunges 2 sets: Start on a lunge position and switch your feet with jumping in the middle. Second set, slow it down but get lower with every lunge
  • Inchworm 2 sets: Start standing up, stretch down on the mat walking your hands forward until you get to perfect high plank position. Slowly get yourself back up and repeat. Second set add a push-up at the bottom of the exercise.

ROUND 2:

  • Squat jumps 2 sets: Squat down and jump up keeping your abs tight, shoulders back and weight on your heels. Second set squat lower and jump higher
  • Reverse lunge to forward lunge set leg 2 sets: Start with a reverse lunge than move that same leg into a forward lunge than back to reverse and so on. Keep your back ans shoulders straight and core tight. Second set, switch legs.
  • Burpees 2 sets: Begin in a standing position, lower yourself to a squat and place hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push-up position, lower your body to a push-up then kick your feet back and stand up. Second set, perform a side plank after the push-up alternating sides with each burpee.
  • Push-ups 2 sets: Make sure to keep your core tight and back straight! Do as many as you can do. Second set is the same

ROUND 3:

  • Skater hops 2 sets: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees to lower your body 8-10 inches and lean forward until your shoulders are positioned above your knees then start hopping sideways about 2 feet and landing on your right foot, then hop sideways back onto your left foot and repeat for 20 seconds. Second set, get lower and reach down with your hand to touch ground
  • Plank jacks 2 sets: Begin in plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together.Jump your legs wide and then back together. Second set, pick up the pace!
  • Mountain climbers 2 sets: Start in high plank position, bring your right knee toward your right elbow and back. Now do the same on the left side. Keep going as fast as you can. Second set, bring the right knee towards the left elbow engaging your core more even more! Now left knee to right elbow.
  • 2 Jumping jacks/ 2 bent over jumping jacks 2 sets : Perform 2 regular jumping jacks then bend over for the next 2 jumping jacks bringing your hands right in front of you instead of overhead. Repeat for second set.

ROUND 4:

  • 3 low squats then drop into high plank 2 sets: Make sure to get low on your 3 squats. Second set add small jumps to the squats.
  • Plank around your mat 2 sets: Get into high plank and using your whole body, travel right to left. Keep you core engaged and a straight back. Repeat for second set
  • Jump over mat on one leg and low shuffle: Jump forward on one leg from side to side. Once a the top of the mat, jump backwards. Second set get your knees higher.
  • Squats in and out 2 sets:  Jump into low squat position then jump back getting your feet together. Second set, get lower and touch ground with your hands

ROUND 5:

  • High plank to side plank and hip dips 2 sets: Get yourself from a plank to one side. Once perfectly balanced on the side plank, lower your hips then back up. Second set change sides.
  • Scissor kicks 2 sets: Lying on your back with your shoulders off the mats, raise your legs and perform scissor like leg movements from side to side. Keep your core fully engaged. Second set add a crunch at the top of the movement.
  • High plank to elbow plank: Start in high plank position and bring yourself to your elbows then back to your hands. Keep hip rotation to a minimum. Keep  a straight back, core engaged. Second set the same.
  • Hols V- sit position: Get yourself into a V shape position with your hands to your side, feet of the ground, core engaged, shoulders back and back perfectly straight. Hold for the 20 seconds. Second set, move your arms up and down.

hiit

You are done, amazing job!

Ciao for now