Today we’re going to be working on some ways to improve and increase your balance competency, but we also want to turn this into a bit of a strength drill.
The way they were going to do this is we’re going to start with some stance changes.
Balance Strength – Let’s Get Started
So the first thing that I want to do is I want to put you into Romberg’s position.
Romberg’s position, basically your feet are going to be completely together, heels together, big toes together and you’re standing up nice and tall.
This is going to be our start position.
Now normally when we tell people, to train their balance we’ll have them begin in this position. Eyes open, eyes closed with head turns.
We’re going to assume that you’ve already been doing that.
So what we’re going to do now is add some load to it.
Balance Strength – Progression #1
So this is going to be progression number one.
I’m going to use a kettlebell. Now this one is a 16 kilo bell. So if you’re brand new to all this stuff, you’re going to want to begin very light. So use a two or three or five pound little dumbbell and then work your way up.
So, our basic process here is we’re going to begin in Romberg’s position.
We’re going to hold for 30 seconds on the right side. And then we’re going to switch and hold for 30 seconds on our left side. And you’re just trying to get an idea of how your balance feels side to side when you’re holding a unilateral load.
After you’ve done that, we’re going to be working on switches for another 30 seconds.
Obviously, safety is very important here.
I have a heavy weight in my hand. I’m barefoot. I’m on a floor that I don’t want to mess up. So when you’re making your switches go slowly enough so that you can ensure that you have a nice firm grip.
Balance Strength – Progression #2
After you’ve done 30 seconds of switches, now we’re going to make it more challenging by going into different head positions.
If you know anything about the vestibular system or the inner ear you know that we’re going to be doing left turns, right turns, looking up at the ceiling, looking down at the floor right tilt and left tilt. So now we have six different head positions.
We’re going to hold those positions for five seconds repetitively, but we’re just going to keep the weight right now in my left hand.
So I will turn to the left, hold for five and then I will turn to the right and hold for five, come back to the middle. look up, hold for five. Down for five, right tilt for five, left tilt for 5 and then I would switch.
So, again, really simple progression here. And you’re just trying to get an idea of how your body feels.
Balance Strength – Progression #3
The next series we’ll do exactly the same thing, but with our eyes closed.
So now I’m still in Romberg’s position.
I’m going to close my eyes.
Again. try and hold for 30 seconds and then I will switch, hold for 30 seconds on my left, and then I would go back through my same head progressions, all with my eyes closed.
Now at this point your hands may be getting tired, your feet may be getting tired, you’re going to feel a lot of muscular activity. So if you need to take a brief break, shake out any tension and breathe.
Because now what we’re going to do is we’re going to move into a slightly more challenging stance position.
Balance Strength – Progression #4
So this is a supported single leg stance.
I’ll take my weight, put it in my right hand I’m going to now leave my right foot in contact with the ground. I’m going to take my left leg and I’m just basically going to go to a toe touch position
We’re not doing a full single leg stance right now.
We’re going to do a supported stance, so I’ve got a little bit of weight on my left toes and then back to my same progression, 30 seconds with my right hand, a transition now, to my left hand. You’ll start to feel yourself wobbling a lot more.
Balance Strength – Progression #5
Then from here, we’ll go through our head turns, all this with eyes, open.
Balance Strength – Progression #6
And then, finally, we’ll do the same thing with eyes closed.
This is a great exploratory drill to notice, what changes whenever you load the body on one side, and when you challenge your balance systems with eyes open versus eyes closed. If you go through this progression, it will take you four or five minutes.
I guarantee that you’ll feel your feet, you’ll feel your legs, you’ll feel your back, everything working quite hard because of the addition of the load.
Just remember to be safe.
Take care of your feet, take care of your floor.
Don’t drop anything.
Make everything as smooth and secure as you need to in order to be safe.
I hope you enjoy this one!