I’ve been doing a deep dive into functional movement and how it might help explain certain technique challenges. I discovered an asymmetry in my own movement which was strongly influencing my ability to balance on one of my legs.
Balance, both the standing on one leg kind, as well as balance in muscle usage is key to staying healthy and fit at all ages! The interesting tweak in my thinking came when thinking about how to improve this balance asymmetry. Do you start with improving the movement pattern or improving your proprioceptors?
Perhaps it is the chicken and the egg question…. and they certainly work intimately together – but prior to finding the clip below I would have given a student, and myself, the goal of standing on one leg for up to 3 minutes. Certainly a worthy goal and it will improve your ability to balance on one leg.
But could it be even more effective to address the balance challenge through improving the dysfunctional movement pattern? The answer is yes. Evaluating a movement pattern for where mobility or stability is off and working to correct the deficiency is bringing your motor control and balance… well… back into balance!
Doesn’t mean that you can’t still practice balancing at those odd moments during the day – that will absolutely help you improve your balance standing on one leg. If you are balancing on one leg and doing other things at the same time it is even better1
Brushing teeth on one leg (including the bending over to spit in the sink), reaching down to pick something up on one leg, or even washing dishes on one leg will challenge and improve your balance. My go-to balance exercise was tossing a pinkie ball between my hands – but I’m not sure it was challenging enough.
So this week… challenge your balance in all ways and share your experiences in the comments below!
Here is the clip that started me thinking in a new way…. enjoy!
To your success, Deborah
(I just passed my certification for being able to offer a functional movement screen (FMS) – I’ll be talking a lot about what I’m learning in the months ahead:)