Welcome back to this week’s edition of Two-Minute Tuesdays where we pick one exercise topic, talk about it for two minutes, and give you three reasons why you should follow our advice. This week we are talking about balance, specifically, exercise tips to improve your balance.
1) Do Not Exercise On Unstable Surfaces
When people think about improving balance, they always go to ‘“exercising on an unstable surface”. Some examples of this would be a wobbly BOSU Ball, a balance board, or a squishy pad. Make sure when you are strength training to improve your balance you are NOT exercising on one of these things. Reason being, as soon as you step on something that is unstable, your motion becomes much, much smaller. And where do you lose balance? In large ranges of motion. So, it is actually counter-intuitive.
Action Tip: Ditch the unstable surfaces! Focus on exercising on stable surfaces. Not only will this improve your strength more than exercising on an unstable surface, but it will allow you to develop control in more extreme positions — i.e. the positions where we often lose our balance.
2) Strengthen The Extremes Of Motion
Tip number two – when you are doing your strength training exercises, try to strengthen more of the extremes of the range of motion. You can do this through either doing isometric exercises specifically in the more extreme positions or by making sure you are using a larger, more “full”, range of motion while you are exercising. Why is this important? Because when you lose your balance, it is not when you are more in a neutral position. You lose your balance when you are in more extreme positions and ranges of motion. Making sure your muscle can contract in those positions and that you have strength there is super important to making sure you are able to balance in those positions as well.
Action Tip: Incorporate isometric exercise in more extreme or “end-range” positions into your regular exercise routine.
3) Strengthen Your Feet And Lower Legs
The first thing that everyone talks about with balance is “your core”. But we want to emphasize your feet, your ankles, and your lower legs, too. Your feet, ankles, and lower legs are extremely important in helping you maintain your stability, possibly even more so than your “core”, but nobody talks about it. So, we recommend you include exercises to strengthen your feet, your ankles, and your lower legs.
Action Tip: Check out this post for exercises you can do at home to strengthen your feet and lower legs!
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