Training for balance has so many benefits and is not only for aging populations. Of course, experiencing falls is a big issue with senior citizens so balance training at a modified level is essential for their well-being and overall safety. Implementing balance training is also extremely important for the rest of the population and can help with daily activities both in the regular world and in the gym.
Golfers, basketball players, soccer players and dancers of all types can benefit from balance training and bring their talent to new levels. Agility is not the only conditioning that can be improved. Weightlifting enthusiasts can improve their strength and muscle gains by adding balance training to their exercises. When doing so, the core becomes activated at a higher intensity and although you may need to back off on the amount of weight used, you will reap the benefits of this type of training. Remember, you don’t always have to go super heavy when training and sometimes dropping the weight down a little is beneficial.
Here are a few things you can do to implement balance training into your current workout regimen:
- Try sitting on an exercise ball with both feet up while not touching the ground. Do this for 1-2 minutes which can be a great exercise to perform during your rest period between weight sets.
- Stand on one foot while performing bicep curls along with front and side deltoid raises. If you are good with balance then take a balance board, noodle or Bosu ball and try standing on them with both feet while slowly progressing to one foot as you get more comfortable. This will enable many stabilizer muscles as you perform each of the exercises.
- If you can easily obtain a proper knee balance on an exercise ball then try doing this during a shoulder press and see how it feels!
- Sit on an exercise ball and lift one foot up while doing alternating bicep curls using dumbbells. Don’t forget to do the same with the other foot lifted on your next set.
- Rather than doing normal chest presses, pullovers, tricep extensions or flys while on a bench, try doing them on a ball. You can even use the ball as a bench and place it under the cable machine and do cable flys, presses, pullovers and more!
- Use the ball for incline type presses by leaning at a 45 degree angle which uses more of your core muscles.
- The ball makes for a great bench under your feet while doing pushups or tricep bench dips.
- Weighted abdominal crunches and oblique training performed on a ball really challenges your body due to the need to stabilize your muscles even more for these exercises versus traditional machines or equipment.
- Advanced athletes can try to stand on an exercise ball. Some people even squat on the ball!
- Perform single leg squats with the exercise ball against a wall while securing your back. This does not take anything away from the intense balance work it takes to achieve full repetitions.
- Some gyms keep foam noodles and half noodles. Lying on these lengthwise during chest presses are a great way to work your overall core, or use the half noodle on a bench with the flat side down.
- Squats performed on the noodle, Bosu ball, or balance boards make every little muscle in your legs work at their highest potential and provide an excellent workout!
Always keep safety and proper form as the priorities in your fitness plan and try adding some of these balance training ideas and exercises into your workout routine once per week. Many of these movements are for beginners and all of them are able to be modified so there is an option for all fitness levels.