The key to balancing your body is having a strong core, which means being less prone to injury and more agile on the field or court.
There are a few balance workouts for athletes that can help them strengthen their core. In this article, we'll have a look at a few such exercises along with tips on how to do them correctly.
Best Balance Workouts For Athletes
Here's a look at six such workouts for athletes:
1) Single-Leg Deadlift
Single-leg deadlifts are a great way to build strength in the hamstrings, glutes, and core. They can also help improve balance and flexibility.
Here's how this exercise is done:
- Keep the weight balanced with both arms as you hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight; don't let it round.
- Make sure to keep your weight centered on one foot at all times during the movement. Don’t let it shift forward or backward as you move through space with each rep.
- If using dumbbells for this movement, focus on using both hands evenly throughout each rep.
- If too much weight is placed on one side of the body, it will make balancing more difficult (and potentially dangerous).
2) Skater Squat
A skater squat is a great way to add variety to your workout routine and improve lower body strength. To do it, you will need a dumbbell or some other kind of moderately heavy weight.
Here's how it's done:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold the weight in front of you at chest level, with palms facing inward.
- Shift your weight onto one leg as you bring the other behind you and onto an exercise ball.
- Keep the weight balanced on one foot as you try to lower it. Your rear leg should stay rested and behind you.
- Remember to use a weight that isn't too heavy so that you can comfortably hold it out in front of you.
3) One-Legged Cable Kickback
This exercise is a great way to build up the glutes and hamstrings, so it's perfect for athletes who run, jump, or sprint.
- Start with a light weight, and work your way up from there.
- You want the weight light enough so that you can maintain good form but not too light that it's easy to swing your hips or let your shoulders round forward.
- As you do this exercise, keep your hips square (don't allow them to rotate), and avoid arching too far forward at the waist.
4) Bosu Ball Plank Hold
This exercise is incredible for building balance, agility, and core strength. As such, it's an indispensable exercise and should definitely make its way into your routine. Here's how to do it:
- Place a Bosu ball on the floor, and lie with your stomach on top of it, with hands under your shoulders.
- Lift up into a plank position, keeping your body in line from head to heels. Don't let your hips sag or lift too high.
- Hold for 10-15 seconds, and slowly lower yourself back down to the Bosu ball.
- Repeat three times before switching sides and repeating three more times on each side for six total sets per workout day.
5) The Fence Drill
The fence drill is a great workout to improve your balance and work on your reactions. It can be done solo or with a partner to make sure you keep proper form, which will help protect you from injury.
To do it:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart so that you have enough room to move in any direction without hitting anything.
- Place one hand on the wall for support, and bring one leg up behind you as if doing a lunge, but keep your back straight (don't bend at the hip).
- Switch sides, and repeat for 30 seconds on each side or till you are fatigued.
- Rest 10-20 seconds between sets, if needed.
6) Crab Walk
A crab walk is a great addition to any balance workout. It's a silly-looking exercise, but it can help strengthen your muscles and increase coordination.
So, what is the crab walk? It's one where you:
- Duck down into a lower position than a normal squat.
- Bring your arms around your back, almost like the bridge position in yoga.
- Ensure that your knees are straight and slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. Your hamstrings should be parallel to the floor.
- When crouched, start walking backward by moving one leg and arm at a time, imitating the movement and shape of a crab.
We hope the aforementioned workouts will help you stay balanced and strong. Consider adding them to your routine and adjusting the intensity level according to your fitness level.
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