Challenge to Your Balance

You balance your tires, balance your checkbook, and try to eat a balanced diet.  We all spend a great deal of time trying to find or maintain a sense of balance in our lives, but how about in our bodies?  Balance is a key component in any fitness routine.  From competitive sports to day to day activities, balance is key to all movement.  Adding balance training to your fitness routine can reduce your risk of injury, especially those that occur in the ankle or knee (and you thought those single leg biceps curls and Bosu step ups were just your trainer’s idea of a sick joke).  A huge side benefit to balance training is the increased calorie expenditure.  Because more muscles are recruited through balance training it has great potential for aiding in weight loss.  Check out the exercises listed below for ideas on how to incorporate balance into your routine:

Single Leg Balance: Though it seems simple, standing on a single leg is harder than it seems.  Try it.  Still unconvinced?  Try standing on a single leg while performing some routine exercises such as biceps curl or lateral raises.

Single Leg Hip Rotation: This is another great exercise to recruit those stabilizing muscles.  Want an extra challenge?  Try taking your gaze in the direction of the traveling knee.

Single Leg Step Up to Balance: Ready to move with your balance?  Try a step up to balance using a bench, box, or even a stair if at home.  Want more of a challenge?  Add a free weight overhead press to the top of the motion.

Aside from the exercises mentioned above, you can stand on one foot while brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or waiting in line at the grocery store.  Try it a few times this week and see what you think.  Wouldn’t it feel good to be more balanced?