Stability and balance training can often be forgotten amongst our workout schedule. After all, a gentle stability training session is not a big fat burner and it doesn’t give you sculpted muscles the same way lifting some grunty weights will.

The importance of good balance

Good balance allows us to ‘right’ ourselves if we trip or slip and it holds us up in when we have one kid hanging off one arm and a buggy handle in the other. It helps us we reach up to the top cupboard and when we lean over to pick up the groceries from the car. It allows the right muscles to work when they are needed, meaning less injuries or pulled muscles.

AND it does have a muscle shaping effect. A good balance workout will work our muscles on different angles and give us ‘long and strong’ muscle definition.

The strength of our muscles plays an important role in keeping us stable, especially the muscles in our lower back, abdominals and hips. If these muscles are strong they will contract and tighten when you start to get off balance, so you don’t fall over.

It’s worth knowing that the muscles that work the most to help keep us stable (through the middle) are also the ones that tone and define our stomachs!

Getting in balance

And the good news? It’s pretty simple to train yourself to have more balance. The trick is do exercises that take you off balance then use your postural muscles to get balanced again.

Some suggestions to add balance training into your everyday life:

• If you are already working out put some balancing exercises into your strength training routine.

• Do exercises that involve only one side of your body at one time.

• Place one foot in front of the other when using weights (or at the bar…). This stance requires more balance than feet side by side.

• Sit on a swissball instead of a chair at home or work. You’ll improve your balance by simply not falling off.

• Stand on one leg while in the line at the supermarket or the money machine cue. Just lift one foot just off the ground (so you don’t look odd) and tighten through your abdominals

Training balance and stability is all about little and often. You are better off spending a few minutes each workout rather than one big session every now and then.

If you need some extra motivation then head over to www.julzdarroch.co.nz for some exercises you can do at home to get your stability and balance training programme started now!

 

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Julz Darroch provides education and resources for those who want to get fit and introduce exercise into their lives but aren’t sure where to start- the exercise allergic are her speciality! Julz is also mum to two great kids who help keep her moving. You can find out more on her website.

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