That's right folks - it's time to GET STABLE!
Here are 3 of my favourite balance drills for dancers, gymnasts, and anyone who wants to feel a bit more steady on their feet.
Did you know, that body has two mechanisms by which it gathers feedback and maintains its balance?
RIGHTING REACTIONS are the dominant mechanism when we are on a stable surface - they maintain our body alignment and head positioning. These can be challenged / trained by reducing sensory feedback fromthe environment, eg. standing on one leg or working blindfolded.
EQUILIBRIUM REACTIONS are the dominant mechanism when working on unstable surfaces, and help to keep our centre of gravity over our base of support. These can be trained by working on unstable surfaces such as BOSU trainers and Swiss balls.
Which one of these mechanisms would dominate in your sport? Which mechanism is strongest in you?
I recommend mixing up both mechanisms per the drills below, which can be used to spice up your usual workout.
1. Transfer of weight on BOSU: Adopt a single leg balance on the BOSU (black side), feet slightly turned out. Bring the knee of the working leg towards your chest, engaging the abs and deep hip flexors as you do so. Slowly release, and extend the same leg out behind you. Repeat 10-12 times, keeping the motion as fluid as possible.
2. Blindfold glider lunges: Kiss your brow game goodbye and don a blindfold! Press the weight into the heel of your front foot as you slide the back foot away from you into a reverse lunge with extended leg. Push into the front heel and squeeze the abs to recover. THIS IS TOUGH!! Don’t be surprised if you lose your mind and forget how to stand up as soon as the lights go out!! (Ask a friend to spot you if you start freaking out!). Perform 10-12 reps on each side, alternating each time
3. Swiss ball shoulder press: Sit on the middle of the Swiss ball, feet together and heels raised. Begin with elbows out a shoulder level, and press the weights overhead. Engage the abs to prevent from over-arching the back. Your stronger shoulder will tend to push up harder, causing a reaction force which will travel downwards and make that hip dip. Hold onto your balls people!! Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps
Share with a friend who needs to GET STABLE and make a date to work on these drills together! xxx
PS. I’ve left some juicy wobbles in so you can see how hard this really is!!