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Due to inexperience, many new gymgoers gravitate towards machines when exploring their local fitness center the first few times. While these machines are beneficial, they focus on isolated movements to supplement compound movements.
While there’s nothing wrong with using a gym machine to get a workout in, gym machines may not provide significant results. So, it might be time to switch it up. Core and stability workouts are the groundwork for all fitness routines since they stabilize abdominal muscles and improve coordination and flexibility.
Without strengthening the core muscle groups, it may be challenging to move freely and steadily through an exercise and hinder athletic performance. A fitness regimen lacking stability movements can affect your life outside the gym as well, with the ability to perform daily tasks being tougher.
Luckily, you didn’t stumble across this article by chance! Here’s the ultimate guide to workouts that improve your balance and stability so you can improve your fitness journey.
An incredibly humbling experience, you might notice the challenges of balancing on one leg versus the other. This test can signal a muscle imbalance and point out your dominant side. But no need to panic; muscle imbalances are standard and mean that the strength or size of the muscle on one side of the body isn’t symmetrical to the muscle on the other side.
Imbalances can result from training in one sport or targeting one muscle group. In many sports, you may notice discrepancies when athletes use their dominant sides to throw or swing. The dominant side knows how to perform, while the weaker side overcompensates when doing the same exercise.
Stability movements aim to highlight imbalances in the body and lessen their effects on flexibility and mobility. This training demands core activation and concentration since it focuses on abdominal muscles, lower back, and legs.
If you’re new to these movements, expect a bit of stumbling and challenge. Fortunately, the more you perform the exercises, the better you'll become. As you progress throughout the workout and become comfortable with the movements, gradually increase the number of repetitions.
There are many core and balance exercises to try when keeping the body active, improving coordination, and preventing injuries and falls. Remember to adjust the movements to your preferred difficulty. It's best to start on your non-dominant side first; you can double the sets on this side to even out balance.
To perform the tight rope walk, tie a piece of a string in between two poles or lay a band on the ground. Holding your arms out to the sides, walk along with your marker without stepping to the side. You’ll want to walk at least 15 paces before turning around to walk back.
For this movement, start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart. With both feet planted firmly into the ground, transfer your weight to your non-dominant side and lift your dominant foot.
Keep this foot elevated for thirty seconds, then slowly lower to the floor. You want to repeat the movement on the other side about five to ten times.
Start the flamingo stand by lifting your dominant leg while standing on your non-dominant leg. Don't worry if you feel unbalanced at first; you can use a wall or chair for support.
Stretch your lifted leg forward and hold this position for 15 seconds. You want to focus on maintaining posture by keeping your head, neck, and spine in one straight line—lower your foot to the ground and repeat on the opposite side.
Start with both feet firmly planted on the floor to initiate the single-leg squat. Raise the dominant leg as you would with the flamingo stand. Instead of stretching your leg in front of you, push through the heel on the ground and lower your hips as if performing a full squat.
Once you perform the squat, come out of the position by placing your foot down and lifting yourself. You'll want to act slowly to avoid falling to the side. Engage the core muscles to help keep you upright.
Single leg jump squats build upon the static squat by using the same muscle engagement to keep yourself upright. The difference is the positioning of the lifted leg. Instead of squatting with your lifted leg in front of you, direct the leg behind you and perform the squat movement.
Afterward, explode off the ground with a jump while keeping your knees stable and aligned with your ankle. This will allow you to land with soft knees and avoid strain.
This exercise incorporates two separate actions to create one fluid movement. Start with both feet at hip-width, then step backward and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle to perform the lunge. Your front knee stays behind your front toe while engaging your glute muscles.
To power through the movement, push through your front heel and kick your back leg in front of you. Remember to keep your chest up and core engaged.
To perform this top tap exercise, place a resistance band around your ankles. Lower your hips until you’re in a quarter-squat position and slightly lift your dominant leg off the ground.
Engaging your core and hip muscles, tap your leg forward, to the side, and behind you. Perform 10 to 20 repetitions before moving on to the opposite side.
For this exercise, you’ll need two dumbbells. Holding equipment at chest height, transfer your weight to your dominant foot while lowering yourself into a quarter-squat.
Focus on keeping your left leg stable, punch dumbbells across your body for 10 to 20 repetitions. Lower your leg and repeat on the opposite leg.
It’s essential to find balance in all areas of life to achieve progress. Having the ultimate guide to workouts that improve your balance can only work when there's consistent effort. These exercises can be challenging the first few times, but it gets easier with each repetition, like with most movements. The key is to be patient with yourself and stick to it!
When searching for the ideal equipment that aligns with your regimen, look no further than American Home Fitness! Our top-of-the-line products are easy to use and aim to help you achieve your fitness goals and make exercise exciting.
We have many showrooms in the Michigan area, but if you’re searching for exercise equipment in Grand Rapids, MI, don’t hesitate to stop by and explore our selection!