Train and Challenge your Balance the right way


One thing that always strikes me as interesting is the excessive use of odd toys to enhance a person’s balance. What you’ll find is that these people haven’t really spent much time owning the simple single leg stance–which is the absolute foundation of any balance you may need for life and sports.

Here’s a quick progression on how to start working on your balance:

1) Stand on one foot
a. Move your arms and legs around while continuing to balance
b. Rotate your neck and torso back and forth
c. Perform exercises like single leg deadlifts and airborne lunges
2) Stand on one foot–eyes closed
a. Move arms and legs around while continuing to balance
b. Rotate your neck and torso back and forth
c. Perform exercises like single leg deadlifts and airborne lunges

You’re going to find the eyes closed variations rely much more heavily on your proprioception (body awareness) because you can’t use vision to help provide a frame of reference and balance point. The musculature and coordination of the foot, leg, hip, and trunk have to be completely dialed in to perform any task while the eyes are closed.

Ultimate Athleticism Challenge #2
In the spirit of constant improvement, I’ve got a challenge for you.

—Close your eyes (blindfold is best) and perform a single leg deadlift, airborne lunge, and single leg squat.—

If you don’t have the requisite mobility to do the last 2 options, feel free to at least try the single leg deadlift and see how that position and movement challenges your balance.

Closing your eyes can help you increase your awareness of movements, muscles, and proprioception, and I think that has a place in your training. Maybe even start experimenting in your #5minuteflow.

Better every day,
-Max

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