At derby practice on Monday, we worked on our balance…a lot. And I needed it. Ever since I broke my leg, I’ve had to spend extra time working on my ankle strength…and my balance in general.
While balance exercises are becoming easier with time, but it also means that I still have a ways to go. Balance is super important. It’s a big part of proprioception.
What is Proprioception?
Proprioception is your ability to sense your environment and adjust the positions of your body accordingly. It is what allows you to hit a tennis ball, hold a weight or stand on one foot, for example.” source
Let’s go a bit deeper. Your brain maps your body and each body part has a different area in the brain that knows its function, abilities, limits…basically this is how the brain moves and senses your different body parts. Body mapping allows your body to effectively map out how and when to move.
So, when you want to improve your proprioception, it makes sense that you would want to work on your balance, right?
Balance exercises work on your smaller muscle groups (as well as the larger, more obvious ones). They allow you force your muscles to fire in a different way-and if you are active in any way, you should probably have a balance trainer that you can use.
When you are starting out, you can do bodyweight exercises, such as one legged balance, yoga poses, and more. As you increase your balance, you may want to add in a balance trainer. I have used quite a few, and the following are my favorites:
I also love that you can use any of the balance trainers above for upper body, lower body, as well as basic balance exercises.