"Our food should be our medicine
and our medicine should be our food." ~ Hippocrates
Your Balance For Better Workouts
all know the importance of balance it keeps from falling over. It is the
essence of everything you do. From everyday activities to those things requiring
a little more, if you have weak balance, it does not really matter how strong
your arms and legs become!
requires three body systems: vestibular in your inner ear that keeps you level;
proprioception or your awareness of your body in space; and visual, which sends
signals from your eyes to the brain regarding your body in relation to its surroundings.
But a weak trunk, also known as your core, can significantly alter your balance
and abilities for physical activity.
core muscles, which lie deep within your torso, attach to the spine, pelvis and
muscles that support your scapula (the triangular bones of your shoulder also
referred to as your wing). They include your shoulders, chest, lower
abdominals, back and buttocks. Core muscles keep the body and spine stable while
creating a solid base of support to generate effective movements of your extremities
your arms and legs.
there is a weakness in any of these areas, you just may be setting yourself up
for pain, fatigue and balance issues not to mention increasing your risk
while working out is a healthy habit, many weight machines isolate specific muscle
groups and are commonly used for cosmetic fitness. In other words,
you exercise those surface muscles that make you look good. But what do great-looking
arms have to do with your balance? Can tight triceps and sculpted biceps really
help you enhance coordination, strength or endurance?
your balance your core - requires an integrated approach through what is
called functional fitness or core training. This head-to toe style of exercise,
which works several muscle groups or joints together, often utilizes your own
body weight to target balance.
wholistic approach not only strengthens muscle groups, it enhances coordination,
improves endurance and increases agility and mobility, which allows the body to
move quickly and efficiently to compensate for changes in your center of gravity.
It can increase body awareness, improve posture, increase circulation and boost
stamina while promoting a healthy spine.
training, which activates the core, mimics the motor patterns which translate
into every task from normal daily activities to recreational activities
and everything in between!
whats so different about functional training? Performing a combination of
exercises requires stability and coordination. It can allow for more efficient
work outs and make daily or leisure activities much less taxing on your body.
exercise routines use a combination of aerobic activities and strengthening. Aerobic
activities are those that increase your heart rate for an extended amount of time
great if youre trying to lose weight and keep your heart healthy.
Strengthening activities not only tones your muscles, it helps maximize the efficiency
of muscular contractions.
are if you perform regular strengthening exercises, you focus on the major muscle
groups legs, arms, shoulders, back and abdomen. And yes, performing these
five major areas does incorporate some of your core. But performing a combination
of activities can actually increase efficiency of workouts and allow your body
to perform better.
this, you do overhead shoulder presses, great for your upper back and shoulders
and squats, great for your legs, right? But why not combine the two? Think
about it it requires more muscles working in unison! After all, daily activities
usually do not require one simple exercise, but rather a combination. You dont
just lift a heavy load off the floor with your arms you squat first. Then
with your trunk, arms and legs working in unison, you are able to stand up while
your fitness routine to incorporate more functional goals is easier than you think!
So you perform abdominal crunches, right? Well, why not try them on an unstable
surface, like a stability ball? Or bicep curls on a balance board? Or work your
triceps while standing on one foot?
these exercises have two things in common they work multiple muscle groups
and they require balance! Both are essential for just about every physical activity
you perform within the day.
any traditional exercise can be transformed into a functional one. Exercises usually
performed in standing can be made functional just by kneeling or standing on an
unstable surface. Exercises performed on your hands and knees enhance your core
by placing your hands and/or your knees on an unstable surface.
core training incorporates flexion and extension of your trunk, as well as rotational
and diagonal movements where your pelvis is no longer stationary. This recruits
more muscles, thus increasing the amount of calories you can burn plus increasing
the efficiency of not only your workouts but of regular physical activities!
too shaky in the beginning? Start by standing on one foot and gradually progress
to closing your eyes while maintaining balance. Then add a regular exercise while
balancing on one foot! You can increase the difficulty level just by balancing
more challenges? Try incorporating balance boards or stability balls to beef up
routine. Looking for something different? Try yoga, tai chi, pilates or martial
arts. Need help? Consult with an exercise expert!
your balance while maintaining proper posture will not only make you look better,
it will make you perform better too! Plus it can minimize injuries and pain!
why not take your workout routine to the next level?
Koehler is a licensed physical therapist, certified massage therapist, educator
and business owner with over sixteen years in the healthcare industry. Her dedicated
career has encompassed pain management, physical rehab and promotion of overall
health. Her website, guidinghealth4u.com is designed to provide helpful health
and wellness information.
love it! I have been using Mastermoves now for almost a year and I havent
missed one single day of exercise. My gym now consists of 2 tools
that are both portable and easy to use. I can do my exercises anywhere any time
-15 min. twice a day is a manageable exercise program for my busy life style. --
Frances Preissl, Executive Assistant