Want stronger butt, thigh, hip, ankle, lower back, and ab muscles? You should give balance training a try! Balance training exercises can help you perform well, stay injury free, and move happy. However, it’s an area often forgotten by fitness enthusiasts and sometimes even fitness pros. You’ll miss out on a multitude of benefits if you aren’t training balance on a regular basis. Read on to learn all about balance training and how you can benefit from adding it into your weekly routine. I’ll even give you my 9 minute “Better Balance Workout” to get you started. But be prepared, balance is hard, both in life and in workouts 😉
Balance Training 101. Find Stability, Boost Strength, and Work Your Total Body!
Balance is the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary (e.g. complex yoga pose) or while moving (e.g. ice skating, running, playing sport). It is a key foundational element of fitness, along with strength, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility. The overall benefits of balance training include improvements to overall fitness, sports performance, and of course injury prevention. Specific benefits Include:
1. Body Awareness. Body awareness is the sense of how your own limbs are oriented in space, also referred to as proprioception. Balance training promotes body awareness which makes movement more seamless, with less likelihood of injury.
2. Co-ordination. Feel clumsy and want to be more coordinated? Balance training requires all of your body to work together otherwise you might fall or stumble. By improving your co-ordination during balancing training, there should be an improvement to your co-ordination in everyday life. Essentially it will help you put two and two together and feel more fluid on your feet.
3. Joint Stability. Balance training promotes stable knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. This can prevent a whole array of injuries including sprained ankles and serious knee problems. These injuries are not uncommon in people who don’t do any balance training but do play a sport.
4. Reaction Time. If you slip or stumble when carrying out challenging balance exercises your body needs to re-balance immediately or you will fall. This can improve your reaction time as you learn to quickly react and adapt to an exercise
5. Strength. Balance training is challenging for your nervous system (brain and nerves). The nervous system recruits your muscle when lifting weights, so as your nervous system becomes more efficient it can recruit a higher percentage of your muscle for each lift. This means you can gain strength and can lift more weight when your body has improved balance.
6. Power. Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movement. The two components of power are strength and speed. With quicker reaction times and stronger muscles, your power ability should increase too.
7. Agility. Agility means quick and nimble. It is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this you require a combination of balance, speed, strength, and co-ordination. Therefore, the better your balance is, the more likely you are to have good agility.
8. Fun & Challenge. Adding some balance exercises into your fitness routine adds a new dimension, a dimension which is challenging but also fun too. As you know, when it comes to seeing REAL results, you must constantly mix it up and add variety to your workouts! It is motivating when you notice the improvement to the rest of your fitness regime by adding in balance training.
9. Long term health. As we get older our balance, stability, and strength can deteriorate. Incorporating balance training into your routine will help you to maintain your balance over time, which will prevent falls and fractures as you age.
10. Toned Butt, Legs, and Core muscles. Balance training effectively works your butt, hips, legs, abs, and lower back for a challenging and effective total body workout. If you want to shape up your hips, butt, legs, and core muscles balance training is a good way to do that!
Want to improve your balance starting today? Join me for this balance-improving workout that you can do anywhere. No equipment required, for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. This video offers you stretches and exercises that will tone your body and improve your balance, ankle flexibility, leg strength, and overall agility-leaving you feeling renewed and energized. Its a great warm-up for running, cycling, and training or just good all by itself when you want to boost your fitness.
This workout effectively builds balance but also really works your hips, thighs, butt, legs, abs, ankles, calves, and arms. I thought it was HARD! Try it out and let me know what you think of all the moves – I felt really good after!
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As you progress in your body weight balance training, you can begin to integrate balance and stability training exercises with other pieces of equipment. Personally, I am a HUGE fan of the BOSU balance trainer (here are a few AMAZING moves to get you started). The possibilities are endless for fun, effective ways to train balance!
Some days are good, some days are hard. What matters is showing up and training for strength through stability exercises. I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing if you are feeling the burn from the awesome 9 minute balance workout above.
In health and happiness,
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