New Year's Balance
We all know it is important to have balance in life and a good place to start is by improving your balance! If you are new to the balance or “wobble” board, get acquainted with it by timing how long you can stand still on it. Once you feel more comfortable try some of the exercises below.
Please remember that exercise should never hurt and pain is a great indicator for stopping. Ideally you would do a warm up first (see our ad in the Fernie Fix Winter Guide for one). Perform each exercise slowly and in control and do as many as you can of each. Make sure you have enough space and padding around your board in case you lose your balance.
Squat. Standing with both feet on the board, slowly bend and straighten your legs.
Uneven Push up. Place one hand on the board and the other on the ground. Do 5-10 and then repeat on the other side. To make this easier, drop your knees to the floor. You can progress to a regular push up with both hands on the board.
Ankle Mobility. Standing on the board, gently touch one edge of the board to the ground and then slowly roll the edge of the board along the floor keeping your upper body square. If you have any ankle problems, you may want to try this exercise while sitting first to ensure you are able to get the range.
Lunge. Place one foot on the board and your other foot approximately one foot-length behind the board. Bend and straighten your knees without letting your front foot wobble.
Plank. Place both hands on the board. Keeping your shoulders over your hands, slowly walk your feet back as far as you can without lower back discomfort. Once you feel your abs, stop and hold this position as long as you can. To make harder, add alternate leg lifts while holding.
One leg balance. Start with one foot on the board and the other on the ground and slowly lift it up. Once you get good, you can try doing arm exercises while balancing or add a mini squat.
Bridge. Place your feet on the board and leave your back on the floor. Lift your hips up and down. Progress to lifting your hands in the air or doing one leg at a time.
Doing these exercises one or two times weekly can help keep you balanced and prevent injury. Don’t forget to breathe during your exercises and drink water when you are done!