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Explain The Main Balance Exercises For Athletes

Explain The Main Balance Exercises For Athletes

20 January, 2022

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or more strength, speed, better balance, but also for improved endurance, coordination and balance training plays a crucial role. Unfortunately, balance training is either too short or not at all in the everyday training of most athletes. It brings you decisive advantages: Good balance improves your economy of movement – the better a movement sequence is coordinated, the less strenuous it is; you use less energy and oxygen. With balance training you improve your movement patterns, you become faster and more effective in your sport.

In a nutshell: Balance training is important! It strengthens your core muscles, protects against injuries, and promotes your performance in all sports. No matter if you’re already an experienced athlete or just getting back into sports after being sedentary, adding balance exercises to your regular workout routine will support any activity.  Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best exercises for improving balance that you can also combined with a Velocity Based Training workout.

Main Exercise To Train Balance

Before we go further, It is important to know that various perceptual systems are involved in the sense of balance. Visual system: the eyes or seeing help to orientate oneself in space. Vestibular system: the inner ear perceives rotational movements and accelerations. Proprioceptive system: receptors in the joints and muscles as well as pressure receptors in the skin report changes in posture.

Stimuli that the body perceives through these systems converge in the central nervous system. The brain then sends signals to the muscles so that the body can adapt as quickly as possible – and not fall. A strong sense of balance helps to control movements and thus gives security. This ability diminishes with age. The speed at which nerve signals travel from the brain to the body decreases. 

Injuries or illnesses can also limit one’s balance, as can one-sided activities. This also includes sitting and working at a desk for long periods of time. Fortunately,  you can train your balance. The practical thing about balance training is: You don’t need a gym and you can even train your coordination skills without equipment. Here are six effective exercises:

Explain The Main Balance Exercises For Athletes

One-Leg Balance

Start in an upright position. The stomach is tightly tensed. Lean your upper body forward and lift one leg at the same time. Stretch it as straight as possible. Do not stop the movement until your upper body and legs are level with the floor. You can keep your arms at the waist, stretch out to the side or to the front. Hold the position and come back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. For advanced athletes: Train the floor scales barefoot and on an uneven surface, for example on a folded towel or a pillow.

Military Plank

You start in forearm support: your elbows are below your shoulders, your stomach and buttocks are tense. Now get one floor higher by first placing one hand, then the other, where your elbows were before – until you are in high support on the palms of the hands. From here it goes step by step down onto the forearms. Important: keep your hips parallel to the floor. Work slowly and consciously tense your stomach and bottom to maintain stability. For advanced athletes: Run the Military Plank on an uneven surface.

Lunges

Classic lunges not only train your leg and gluteal muscles but also train your balance. Start in a hip-narrow stand and take one leg a long step forward. Knees and ankles are on the same level. Once in the lunge, push yourself off the floor with your front heel and return to the starting position. Switch legs. Try not to wobble and stay steady. To do this, you have to tense your stomach tightly and stay upright in your upper body. For advanced athletes: add weights, for example, dumbbells or a sandbag that you balance in the neck.

Single-arm Plank

With the one-armed plank, you start in the high support. To do this, position your hands below the shoulders, get your upper and lower body in the air so that your body forms a line. Hold the position for a few seconds until you gain stability. Now raise one arm without losing your balance. The higher you lift and extend your arm, the more tension you need to build to maintain balance. For advanced athletes: raise the opposite leg parallel to your arm.

Explain The Main Balance Exercises For Athletes

Pistol Squats

Start in an upright position and place your right lower leg above the left knee. Slowly crouch like you’re doing a classic squat. You can stretch your arms up or cross your hands in front of your chest. The upper body is straight. Hold at the lowest point and slowly straighten up again without losing your balance. Switch sides. For advanced athletes: Extend one leg forward at a time instead of resting it on the thigh. The so-called pistol squats are a very demanding exercise that requires a lot of training.

Jumping Lunges

The jumped lungs are cardio, strength, and balance training in one. Start in a standing position and jump into a lunge. Both knees are bent, the front one is level with your ankle and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Push yourself firmly off your front heel and switch sides as you jump. The faster you do the exercise, the greater the amount of cardio. But make sure that it is done properly. Technique comes before speed! For advanced athletes: Weights can intensify the exercise. For example, hold a dumbbell above your head with both hands and arms straight.

Conclusion

Balance training not only plays an important role in endurance sports – good balance training has a significant influence on your athletic performance. Balance can also be acquired from both neuromuscular training and more weighted strength training (with single-leg work). It is worthwhile to integrate balance training into your training plan in order to continuously improve yourself in your sports. Exposing yourself to new challenges is the key to more stability,  performance, and of course, to achieve new goals.

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Graduado en Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte.
Investigador en el grupo PROFITH-ACTIBATE.
Máster en investigación de la Actividad Física y el Deporte (UGR).
Doctorando en el programa de Biomedicina por la Universidad de Granada (UGR).
Colaborador del "The Voice of Science".

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