3 Keys to Improving Balance According to a Trainer

YYou can run miles, swim countless laps, and lift heavy things, but when the trainer tells you to stand on one leg, it’s game over. “Balance is so important—not just in fitness, but in our daily lives,” says fitness instructor Katie Austin. “Balance is a huge aspect of any of our movements—even when we stand on our own two feet, we’re balancing whether we’re aware of it or not.”

As we age, our balance begins to decline and the risk of accidents such as falls increases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in four people over the age of 65 experience a fall each year, making it the leading cause of injury and injury-related death. That’s why it’s important to include balancing exercises in our fitness routine (at any age), says Austin. “It helps prevent age-related balance loss, falls and accidents, improves posture, helps speed recovery from injuries, improves coordination, allows for more effective efficient workouts, builds muscle and improves cardio.”

Where does balance come from?

“Our balance comes from our core,” says Austin. “Your core includes the central part of your body, including your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen. When we train our core muscles, they help other muscles work in coordination and harmony, leading to better balance and stability. does.”

Why is my balance not improving?

1. Muscular instability and weakness

Balance requires overall muscle strength, not just a strong core. “The best way to strengthen the core for balance is to target the entire body,” says Austin. So if you’re struggling with improving balance, make sure you’re frequently incorporating muscle-building and resistance training into your workout regimen. It helps stabilize and strengthen not only the muscles, but also the joints, and the stronger these areas are, the more control you have over how their body moves in space. This contributes to better balance and recovery time in the event of a fall.

How long it takes to improve your balance through strength training will be different for everyone, but after six weeks of strength training for 16 minutes four times per week, participants improved their one-leg standing time with eyes open by 32 percent, compared to 206 percent in a 2016 study. According to , eyes closed on a hard surface and 54 percent closed eyes on a compliant surface.

2. You are choosing movements that are either too easy or difficult

Slow and steady wins the race when we work on our balance, but you need to challenge yourself gradually. Pushing too hard, too fast can cause injury, which is why it’s best to start with simple balance exercises and build from there. If balancing poses like standing on one leg while straightening the other is too difficult, simplify it. Start by lifting the other leg slightly off the ground, or even place a wall next to you for support. Once you’ve mastered a move, it’s time to move on to the next level.

3. You’re not being consistent

Like everything, improvement takes time and dedicated effort. A 2015 study found that three to six training sessions per week for 11 to 12 weeks, with four balance exercises per session, was effective in improving people’s balance. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

“You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to improve your balance,” shares Austin, whose favorites include the single-leg Romanian deadlift, bird dog, and modified pistol squat, all of which are unilateral movements, meaning they work one side of the body at a time. Something that allows your dominant side to take over is ideal for improving balance and building strength without developing muscle imbalances. “Try each side and see which one needs the most improvement,” advises Austin.

Work on your balance regularly and you’ll be standing on one leg with your eyes closed in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.