Balance and coordination are important components of fitness to work on at every age. Even when you walk, you are actually balancing leg to leg.
Balance training challenges the smaller stabilizing muscles of the core, ankle, knee, and hip muscles. Strengthening your stabilizing muscles builds a strong base – and a strong base not only makes you stronger, but will make you less prone to injury.
*Try pretending you are on a tight rope and walk the line. Is that too easy? Try one of these seven options to increase the challenge:
- Heel to Toe: As you walk the line, actually touch heel to toe. Make it harder by tilting your head up to the sky or eyes closed.
- Hop Holds: As you walk the line, hop to your front foot and hold for 2-3 seconds before advancing forward with the other foot.
- River Walk: Pretend you are crossing rocks across a river by transferring your weight to the ball of the foot first, then slowly lower to a flat foot. Each time your front foot hits the line, stay elevated on the ball of foot for a slight second before lowering your heel down. Pull your abs in tight and find a focal point to focus on – this is challenging!
- Sideways: Turn your body sideways and either side step or cross your back leg over the front to advance forward staying on the line the whole time.
- Backwards: Walk backwards on the line – this is harder than you think!
- Circle: Try walking a curved line or circle.
- Balance on a Curb: Elevate your line by balancing on a parking curb. Just step off when you need to. Make it harder by traveling sideways or backwards.
If you try one of these drills, let us know how it goes!
*Consult with your physician before starting any new fitness program.