Balance Exercises

/ October 17th, 2012/ Posted in Fitness / Comments Off

Vestibular (balance) problems are much more common among people of all ages than one could think. They cause a lot of discomfort including headaches and lack of ability to concentrate. Luckily, the situation can be improved by exercises.

Our sense of balance is due to shifts of the special tiny stones within the vestibular organ in the inner ear. We tilt the head, the stones shift and the sensitive internal surface of the vestibular organ perceives this mechanical stimulation. The organ is very sensitive, so any movement makes it work and exercise.

Some people can walk on a wire while others are not able to keep balance standing on one foot. However, everybody can improve balance, although not to become a professional wire-walker, but to stand on one foot. Improving the balance is more than just to exercise the vestibular system. It requires better development and coordination of special muscle groups.

“Tree” Exercise

Start Position: Basic stand. Slowly transfer the entire weight to the left foot, every moment feeling yourself at balance

Movement:
Slide the right foot up upon the left leg, directing the right knee aside. When the right foot reaches the left knee, position yourself sturdily.

Lift up your arms with your palms touching each other in front of your chest. Slowly bring them almost above your head.

Keep very straight and feel well aligned. Relax, making as minimal muscular effort as possible.

Repeat standing on the right foot.
“Crane” Exercise

Start Position: Basic stand. The legs together, the feet parallel shoulder-wide.

Movement:
Slowly squat at the left foot simultaneously bending the right knee forward and up. Make your back round.

Simultaneously lift the arms forward and up and make their curve continuing the back curve with your head down and chin reaching to the bent knee.

Straighten your entire body still standing on the left foot.
“Monkey” Exercise

Start Position: Heels together, toes apart (ballet position #1).

Movement:
Shift your entire body weight to the left foot. Slowly squat, bending the right knee aside and lifting the right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep this position for eight counts.

Bend the body to the left, extend both arms up above the head and keep this position for eight counts.

Repeat while standing on the right foot
“Bird” Exercise

Start Position: Standing straight in front of the mirror.

Movement:

Extend the left leg back keeping the pointed toe on the floor. Lean forward with your back straight, making the leg-back line straight, lean the face down.

Slowly lift the straight leg, leaning farther forward so that the leg-back line stays straight.

Lift up the arms above the head, making them an extension of the leg-back line. Repeat eight for each leg.


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