Standing on one foot, working with a balance pad, these are things you do not need in your life, right? For what reason should you be able to stand on one foot? That is some stuff that elementary pupils do, right? Some stuff that gymnasts do, right? I am saying this is Wrong!!
Having proper balance can significantly decrease the number of injuries that can occur in the future. Especially, ankle sprains are a problem for mainly athletes, but also if you do not play sports. Additionally, the leg becomes weaker if you use it less and less or if you keep injuring the same structures.
In any sport you do, you need balance for injury prevention. Being balanced is the key for a long lasting career. Many athletes suffer from some kind of pain or injuries, as their career goes on. If you would have increased strength in your “small” muscles that are responsible for maintaining isometric strength, balance, and the foundation of overall strength, you would be able to enjoy a long lasting career.
Having balance simply decreases the number of injuries throughout your whole life. Instead of staying at home after a busy day, you can spend time with your friends, family or do whatever you like. When walking for a long time, you will not feel as fatigued and there won’t be these bothering aches in your knee or your lower back.
What are Balance Exercises?
#1 Standing on one foot
Balance exercises can be as simple as standing one one foot. The better you can do that, the easier you will have it when it comes to preventing injuries. If you want to improve your “small” muscle strength, try bending your knee slightly. To make the exercises even more effective, stop relying on your eyes. Simply close them.
#2 Standing one foot and reach
Now, to improve the mobility of your joint while you improve your balance, try to reach with your other foot forward to the ground, backwards to the ground, to the inside on the ground and to the outside of the ground. Not only do increase your balance with this exercise, but also your ankle mobility.
#3 Standing on one foot plus rubber band
If you have a rubber band, put it around both ankles. While standing on one foot, slowly bring the foot you are not standing on forward and back, to the outside and back, to the inside and back, backwards and back. If you have no rubber band, you can also do the exercise without one. The exercise helps keeping balance when experiencing a force in the other direction.
#4 Balance Pad
If you have access to a balance pad, make sure you use it. It is the ultimate test for your balance and ankle strength.
When do I do Balance Exercises?
You can integrate them into your training regime or you can do them separately. It is not about performing the balance exercises for a long time at once. It is about performing the exercises repeatedly and regularly.
I enjoy doing one or two exercises for about 15 to 20 minutes a day. Usually, in the morning or before going to bed but you can do them whenever you want to.
The exercises are there to improve your lifestyle, they should not take away from other activities that you like to do. Therefore, it is not a sin if you were not able to perform the exercises one day. Just remember, the exercises are there to help you.
Unfortunately, I have had too many ankle sprains in my life. My right ankle is just not as strong as my left and I feel like there is a slight disadvantage to the placement of the bones on the right side of my ankle and lower leg. Instead of suffering in pain whenever I sprain my ankle, I only need a few days of rest. After that I can come back to my daily activities.
To ensure lasting strength of my ankle, I break down the ligaments on the outside of the ankle and put them back stronger. You can use cross fiber friction massage for that purpose.
Thank you for reading, I am wishing you an awesome day.