Monday, December 9, 2013

Finding Balance during the Holidays Part II

I find it fitting that my second installment of balance exercises happens to be written and posted on the day of the first ice storm of the season.  Today walking out of my house I had to do the familiar “ice on the steps” shuffle to make sure that I didn’t land on my rump.  Scraping off my car required using my ice scraper like a hammer while taking very careful steps to each window.  Luckily, I did not fall,  and I’ve made it to work just in time for the power to go out at The Pilates Studio, but never fear, my laptop battery is fully charged and I am excited to share this week’s balance challenge exercises with you. 

You remember last week’s exercises.

Have you been doing them?

This week we want to progress each of these to increase the wobbles.

For the standing exercise, instead of standing with your feet right next to each other, decrease your base of support by standing with your feet in line.  Stand with one foot in front of the other, with your front heel touching your back toe.  Once you have found this stance see if you can then close your eyes and maintain your balance.  Of course, the next step is to try the other side.

Next it is time to progress the foam roller exercise.  Last week we balanced with one foot on the floor and three limbs in the air.   Now that’s a pretty unstable base, but you better believe that we can destabilize the base even further.  Try putting a pillow or a ball under the foot that is on the ground.  And then let the arms float into the air one by one, and if you still aren’t wobbling, then simply start moving the arms around. 

Last week we balanced on our side with the longest possible spine.  This week we are going to add a 75cm exercise ball and a leg lift to this exercise.  To start make sure that you are barefoot so that you may find traction.  Lie sideways on the ball with your arms overhead.  If this is your first time with this exercise start with your feet lined up on the floor with your heel to your toe.  This may be enough to induce some very satisfying wobbles, but if you are as still as a very balanced statue, the next step is to stack your feet one on top of the other.  If that doesn’t bring on the wobbles then simply lift that top leg and let the wobbling begin.  Be sure to do this very fun exercise on both sides.

This week our final balance exercise is also standing, and will not only improve your balance; it will also strengthen your legs.  First, start standing with one foot in front and one foot behind you.  Allow both toes to point straight ahead.  Bend both knees to find a lunge position, and then shift your weight forward and finish standing just on the front leg.  Repeat by finding the lunge again, and then transfer the weight to the first leg.  If this exercise seems easy, simply try it with your eyes closed.

There you have it.  Our second installment of the balance month is done.  You should be ready for these exercises and if you practice them all week, I am sure that you will be ready for what I have in store for next week.

Katrina Hawley C.M.A PMA- CPT
Director of Instructor at The Pilates Stduio

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