Saturday, February 13, 2010

Two legs stable, single-leg stable, two-legs unstable, and single-leg unstable

What does this jibber jabber mean?

It has to do with strength training.  In any sport or even in life, balance is important.  Basketball, gymnastics, downhill skiing -- they all require balance.  If you are as out of place in the gym next to the beefcakes as I am, here's how to act like you know what you're doing.

Develop a strength training routine based on progression.  Start your arm curls standing on two legs, nice and balanced.  Do a set of 12 then start again, this time standing on one leg only.  I'm just gonna warn you now that when you fall over on a completely flat surface, you are not alone.  Eh hem.

It might take several days or weeks to move up to the next step: two-legs unstable.  This means doing your two-arm press or barbell curls or toe touches on a BOSU Ball.  You can stand directly on the ball or try it with the ball face down, balancing your body on the bottom surface of the BOSU.  From there, the final progression is single-leg unstable, or one legged movements on a Dyna Disc, half foam roller or BOSU. 

Balance is the key to all movement.  When you train your body on an unstable surface, you're teaching your muscles to react and respond to change.  This helps when you're running and you happen to trip/skip over a rock on the canal.  It helps when you are on your bike.  And it keeps your ahead of the injury cycle.  

Today's homework:  Rinse your dishes while balancing on one foot.  Then load the dishes balancing on the other.  Then let me know when you don't feel like you are on a balance beam anymore.
Balance - our ultimate goal

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