From the definition we can garner the prophetic words, “Best to keep up balance lest we fall down and can’t get up!” Do you remember the commercial of the grandma laying on the floor?!?! Look at this model, she’s totally lost her balance! I think we can agree that young or old, being weak and unstable is not a place we want to be- ever. More pressing, we, as in most women and some men too, want to be able to walk in 5 inch high-heels with stability and confidence. Look on the bright side, it’s never too late to improve your balance.
In general, the muscles that we use during a balancing act, like reaching for something high up, where we have to get up on our toes, and even teeter on one leg to reach (visualize it) are not the muscles most of us work on at the gym. Why? Because they’re not the big sexy ones that make us look “ripped.” Funny thing, did you know that walking and running are balancing acts? (Obviously, look at Exhibit A on the runway…) Think about this, in walking or running, before you put the next foot down aren’t you standing on one foot? Now it doesn’t seem so strange when someone says, “I don’t know what happened… I was just walking and I fell down!”
To simplify, let’s categorize our muscles into primary and secondary; primary being our larger muscles that help us lift heavy things like our gluteus maximus (butt muscle) and rectus femoris (thigh muscle), and secondary, being the smaller muscles that help stabilize our body and joints like the gluteus minimus and medius (deep butt muscles that helps stabilize hips) and vastus lateralis (muscle that stabilizes the knee joint). Here are some exercises which focus on your lower extremity, secondary muscle groups to help build better stabilization.
Foot stabilization exercises: Foot Prance for 60 seconds, repeat 3-5x
|1.*articulate feet up & down||2.*hold tipsy-toe position for 2 secs||3. *Press through all your toes, especially big toe|
Knee stabilization exercises: Single Leg Balance Alternate R & L Touch Down for 60 seconds each leg, repeat 3-5x
|1. – 3.||2.*Don’t forget to stand back straight.||4. *Keep the knee bent on the standing leg when you touch down|
Pelvic stabilization exercises: Single Leg Bridge for 60 seconds each leg, repeat 3-5x
|1.||2.||*Keep pelvis totally steady as you go up and down.|
Stay tune for next weeks post where I talk about “imbalance”.
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