How to Do Balance Challenge Properly

Good balance is necessary for your day to day life. You need balance to walk, run, sit, stand, bend over, carry luggage or climb stairs. Balance challenge involves training that helps strengthen the muscles that keep you upright. These kinds of exercises help prevent falls. They also help you do the rest of your exercises easily.

Balance challenge training enables you to control your body in static or dynamic positions.

You can improve your balance if you do balance challenge exercises.

There are multiple things that cause poor balance that may require you to add balance challenge training to your routine.

Poor balance is caused by:

-Having weak stabilizer muscles. These are the muscles that are engaged when your body is doing multi-plane movements. For example, your hip joints stabilize the pelvis when doing abdominal exercises.

-Joint injuries can lead to poor balance. Having an injured knee or ankle can lead to swaying and instability.

-Weak muscles can lead to poor balance. Having muscle fatigue can make you lose your balance during your workout.

-If you have poor posture when you sit or stand, such as slouching, this can lead to aches and pains. Additionally, it can lead to poor balance.

-Low core strength can also lead to poor balance.

Here are some examples of balance exercises.

1.   TIGHTROPE WALK

To do this exercise:

Tie a piece of string on two poles.

Hold your arms out to the side.

Walk on the string without stepping off to the side.

Walk at least fifteen steps.

2.   HEEL-TO-TOE WALKING

To do this exercise:

Hold your arms out to the side. Make sure they are parallel to the floor.

Use chalk or a string to make a line to follow.

Walk in a straight line placing the back of your heel against the toes of your opposite foot.

Move slowly with control.

Continue for up to 20 steps.

3.   BANDED TOE TAPS

To do this exercise:

Put a resistance band around your lower thighs just above your knees.

Do a single-leg, quarter-squat with one leg.

Engage your core and hip muscles.

Using the resistance of the band, tap your other leg forward to the side and straight beside you.

Do up to 20 reps then switch legs.

4.   PLANKS

It is recommended that you do this balance challenge with a medicine ball.

To do this exercise:

Get into a plank position with your forearms and elbows on the ball.

Engage your core, glutes and quadriceps to maintain proper alignment.

Align your hips and shoulders to be square to the floor.

Hold this position before moving to the next exercise.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BALANCE CHALLENGE WORK

When you are working out or doing daily chores, your body engages the primary muscles and the stabilizer muscles.

The primary muscles carry the load of the task while the stabilizer muscles help keep you steady.

For example, when you are doing the bench press exercise, your pecs and triceps carry the load of the weight. Meanwhile, your delts help you control and decelerate the weights.

The main muscles that help maintain balance are known as the stabilizer complexes. Balance challenge exercises help keep these muscles strong.

1.   SHOULDERS

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint.

The muscles of the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and teres minor.

These muscles help maintain optimal function for the arm and chest.

2.   HIPS

The main muscle used for balance in the hips is the gluteus medius. This muscle is engaged when walking or running and provides balance.

When it is weak or injured, it can lead to poor alignment of the pelvis and cause other muscles to overcompensate and lead to further injury.

3.   CORE

The main muscles used to provide balance in this area are the pelvic floor muscles, abs, obliques, spinal muscles, the diaphragm and the multifidus (MF).

MF muscles run from the sides of the vertebra up to the middle back. These muscles provide stability for your legs, pelvis and back while running.

BALANCE CHALLENGE BENEFITS

Doing balance challenge exercises helps make your daily activities easier. Having a strong and stable base eases coordination and fluid movement.

1.   EFFICIENCY

When doing exercise, ensuring you have balance enables you to do your exercises with minimal risk of injury.

This is because your other muscles don’t have to compensate and overwork due to the lack of balance.

2.   BETTER TRAINING

With great balance comes stronger muscles. This enables you to tackle higher weight loads during weight training exercises.

Balance challenge can help you improve your training and help you accomplish your fitness goals.

3.   CORRECTED POSTURE

Balance challenge can help fix your posture. Having strong stabilizer muscles helps correct your posture and enables you to maintain proper form in your day to day activities or during exercise.

ALTERNATIVES TO BALANCE CHALLENGE

1.   FREE WEIGHTS

Working out with free weights can help strengthen your stabilizer muscles.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Position your upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your body with the dumbbells in the air.
  • Extend your arms and push the dumbbells up.
  • Hold the position at the top then return to the starting position.

2.   STEEL MACE TRAINING

To do this exercise:

If you are a beginner, a 4.5kg mace is the best to use. If you are more experienced you can use a 7kg mace.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring the mace behind your back so it’s centered along your spine.
  • Stack your hands and align them with the bottom of your neck.
  • Swing the mace from side to side and use the momentum to maintain flow of the movement.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back and your rib cage tucked.
  • Don’t let your elbows flare.

 

Other exercises you can do are yoga and tai chi.

BALANCE CHALLENGE MISTAKES TO AVOID

Avoid doing balance challenge exercises if you have pre-existing conditions such as arthritis without getting the ok from your doctor.

If you are pregnant and are doing balance challenge, ensure they are mild to reduce the risk of falling. Have a look at these 12 exercises you can do when pregnant.

Another balance challenge mistake to avoid is failing to move your joints enough. Ensure you move your joints to the maximum levels of mobility.

If you are not flexible, start slowly then increase the difficulty of your balance challenge exercises until you have total balance.

Not taking enough water can also lead to poor balance.