What are Different Types of Balance Exercises?
Different types of balance exercises may focus on different areas of the body, though the core abdominal muscles are some of the most important exercises for improving balance and posture. Other balance exercises may target the muscles of the back and the legs, which are also quite important for balance. This may include yoga or Pilates exercises, simple stretching exercises, weight lifting, or working with props such as a stability board or balance ball.
Working with a stability board is one of the most common balance exercises. There are different designs for these boards, but typically they feature a non-slip plank atop a rubber ball. The user stands with both feet on the plank and attempts to make small corrections to stay balanced on the board without letting it tip from side to side. Height variations are available, and people who get more practiced at this will often try other exercises on the balance board, such as jumps, steps, or twists.
A balance ball or exercise ball is also commonly used for balance exercises. One may attempt to sit, stand, kneel, or do push-ups or crunches on the ball. These exercises help to increase strength, but they also require constant small corrections in the muscles all throughout the body to prevent rolling right off the ball. Some people also use a balance ball in place of a desk chair to help with posture, strengthen the abs, and do balance exercises while still working at a desk.
Yoga and Pilates are also excellent sources of balance exercises. These stretching exercises often focus heavily on the core muscles, which improve posture as well as balance. In addition, there are numerous exercises that require standing on one foot while maintaining control of the body. Whenever one is practicing balance exercises that require standing on one foot, it is best to place a chair or some sort of balance bar in front in order to prevent any falls.
Some people use weight lifting in conjunction with these exercises to strengthen the muscles of the legs as well as improve balance. Playing a sport, even just recreationally, can also help to improve balance because it improves coordination. All of these things work together to keep the body balanced and upright, so it is best not to neglect one area of the body in favor of exercising another; a well-rounded exercise program will inherently improve balance.
I used to do crunches as my main core balance exercise, but I had always heard personal trainers say that crunches could do more harm than good to the neck and back if not done properly. Crunches are not very fun, and they can cause the neck to strain, so I decided to try something else.
I had seen a few exercise programs on TV that claimed you could develop strong abdominal muscles simply by using them while dancing. I didn’t purchase any videos, but I watched the infomercials, and I copied some of the dancer’s movements at home.
The trick is to crunch your abs while standing up with every move you make. You can move them in so many ways, because you are not limited by the standard crunch position.
Within a month of doing my new core workout, I could see definition in my abs like never before. Dancing was so much more effective than doing crunches, and it was much more fun. I can tell that my balance has improved as well.
I believe that my balance has improved because of my workout routine. It isn’t very hard by most standards, but I do it regularly, and I have developed good muscle tone and core strength because of it.
Every other day, I do two sets of twenty crunches. Then, lying flat, I bend my knees up to my chest twenty times. After a short rest, I lift my legs about twelve inches off the floor about ten times while holding them out straight. I can see the definition in my core muscles.
I lift five-pound weights, but I do enough repetitions and different positions to do my muscles some good. I also do push-ups, and my biceps have developed well.
I think that the muscles developed in my basic strength training enable me to do dance workouts that require balance and control. Without good muscle tone, I would be wobbling all over the place while trying to dance!
I attend a Yoga class, and the leg balance exercises are the most challenging for me. That could be because I’m not very flexible, but if it happens to be because my balance needs improving, then this class should fix it.
One move requires me to bend to one side and touch my hand to my foot while holding the opposite leg out at a ninety-degree angle. I have to hold this position for about twenty seconds, and I start to wobble after about ten. I think that as my muscles strengthen, I will be able to hold it longer.
I have an abdominal workout video that uses a stability ball for balance exercises. I enjoy the support offered by the ball, and I can feel my muscles adjusting to the positions.
The workout starts with the simple position of sitting upright on the ball with your arms stretched out to your sides. Slowly, you start to move the ball side to side, then back and forth.
As the workout progresses, you do harder movements, like rolling the ball all the way back to your feet. You support yourself with your hands while rolling the ball up your shins and back down to your feet.
The moves are challenging. I could really feel the burn in my core muscles after my first workout. I can see how it would help you improve your balance.
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