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Improve Your Balance!

Developing physical balance is more than just a physical sensation, it requires mental awareness of your body and your center of gravity. Having all the small intrinsic muscles activated is so helpful in stabilizing the joints you need to maintain proper posture. Balance is second cousins with athleticism. I have heard ad nauseum throughout the years as a personal trainer that clients don’t feel they are athletic. Maybe it could be better said that you may not intuitively pick up physical movements very easily. This is where coaching can bridge some of these gaps!

Personal training cues start with some of the following verbiage:

Try to imagine you are…

Maintain your spine angle while…

Breathe in at the same rate as you…

As you ascend your bar path should feel…

The point of these cues are articulating what should be feeling or focusing your attention on during these physical movements. Now, let’s address athleticism a little more directly. Some people are genetically gifted and predisposed to intuitively pick up on physical challenges. Maybe their depth perception is better, or their center of gravity or ability to feel balance through movement but don’t think that doesn’t mean somebody can’t develop those things through proper coaching and cueing.

Balance is a beautiful art because it can be analogous to pretty much everything in life. We could refer to balancing of work/life, balancing of feng shui, or a singer's balancing of a particular note or embouchure. The overriding theme with balance is that, yes it can come intuitively or more naturally for some people but it is most certainly taught.

If balance is the objective then what we are really doing is bringing our awareness to our center of gravity. Center of gravity is the point in which our mass is centered. What we can do as a beginning journey of this is to understand the role that our hips play in everything balance related. The hips have a pretty cool ability to tilt forward and backward (hinge) as well as move in an elliptical or infinity type movement ( hula hoop). Understanding the hips particular role is often intuitive for many types of people however there are many people who can benefit from hip cues on movements.

After personal training for over 12 years one of the first assessments I make with a new client is if they can hinge correctly. 85% of the time, they hinge inefficiency if not incorrectly in general. One of the biggest mistakes I see new personal trainers make is that they don’t immediately address this issue. So many movements and coordination starts with the proper way to hinge.

In summary, balance can be improved by your awareness of your center of gravity. This journey can begin with well coordinated hips. Try using the Romanian Deadlift as well as the conventional hex bar to coordinate these movements.

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