Balance training is a great tool for all ages….
Who said balance training is only for the elderly?
Balance is critical for people of all ages. Not only does it help us avoid falling, it also serves as a foundation for all bipedal movement such as walking, running, and jumping. Plus, it’s a great tool for improving stability, strength, posture, and even your vestibular system. Needless to say, balance is pretty important, and practicing your balance with skill-appropriate progressions provides many benefits.
So, can you balance on one leg? And if so, how many different ways can you do it efficiently? How about in nature where the surfaces may be small, rounded, steep, and/or slippery – where a fall could be dangerous?
You see, balancing is simple, but not easy, and especially when you introduce situational and/or environmental demands. And so, in this post, you’ll learn eight different single-footed standing balancing movements to help you lay a good foundation for safe training down the road.
Now, imagine a surface so small that it can hold only one foot such as a rock barely breaking the surface of a river. You have to jump and land on it on one foot, balance there on one leg for a brief moment, then maybe do a “leg swing” jump (standing on a single leg while swinging the other leg to generate forward momentum) to reach the next rock that is otherwise too far to step out on. Single-leg balancing is an important practical skill and also a functional ability that is an important predictor of injurious falls in elders. Trying to balance on a single foot rather than two makes a huge difference immediately, with tests showing an increase in postural sway by up to 800% compared to the two-footed position.
Supporting your whole bodyweight on such a small surface of your body is not a small feat at all! But if you learn to balance on one foot skillfully, then all movement balancing on two feet becomes much easier.
Single-leg balancing is arguably the single best indicator of bipedal, standing balance, or lack thereof. Indeed, the balancing version of walking is the same step-by-step replication of a sequence alternating single and two-footed standing stance, only this time on a narrow, rounded, or unstable surface. This makes the single-leg phase of a balancing walking movement, which is also the longer one, significantly more challenging. If your single-leg balance is troublesome, it is guaranteed to directly translate to an ugly struggle when you will attempt walking in balance.
Want to know more…? Click the link below for more info from our friends @ MovNat.
Balancing For Beginners:
8 Steps To Master Single-Footed Balancing