I had somebody ask me the other day what tips I could provide for someone to improve their balance - not "balanced lifetsyle" kind of balance, but the stand-on-one-leg kind of balance. The very first response was this: Bend your knees! If you are standing on a BOSU, or standing on one leg or stepping up onto a step/bench (for example), the most important move to make is to soften your knee to force your MUSCLES to harden instead.  When your knees are slightly bent, you force your dominant muscles and stabilizers to all kick in, carry the load, fight out the teetering.  Not only does this greatly improve the condition of your stabilizer muscles and improve the strength of your dominant muscles, it takes the load right off the joint.  It prevents you from wearing at the joint, as well as conditions the muscles responsible for joint preservation.

Also - when you are standing on a BOSU, stepping up onto a bench, or standing on one leg, imagine that you are a paper weight.  Imagine that gravity is pulling you hard, straight down into the floor.  This grounds us.  Feel heavy, and you will teeter less.

Lastly - focus! Don't let your brain be flighty.  Don't think about a million things at once.  Think about being a paper weight, about forcing the muscles to fight it out, strengthening, preserving joints... FOCUS.  You train your brain to train your body.

By practising unstable exercises and putting yourself in a position that requires work on balance, you learn to streamline your thoughts, to shut out the noise of excess fuss, to protect and nurture your joints, to strengthen your muscles and thereby boost the metabolism.  These exercises are a very important addition to every workout program - for everybody.

If you have severe joint pain, you need to seek specific advice about where to start - so again, don't hesitate to ask.

Comment