This weeks Exercise of the Week is actually two exercises designed to help you increase your balance and stabilization. Whether you need it to defend yourself, or just function in society, being able to have these physical attributes is crucial.
For example, did you know that if you do not have good balance you will not be able to defend yourself effectively in a street fight? That's why balance and stabilization exercises have been a part of all martial arts and combative systems since the beginning of time. You cannot control an assailant if you cannot control yourself, and fighting is all about control.
Additionally, having good balance and the ability to stabilize yourself during any activity is crucial in all areas in your life. According to the World Health Organization falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide; and according to the CDC, each year three million older people are treated for slip and fall injuries.
I have had the good fortune to help rehabilitate and post-rehabilitate folks from slip and fall injuries, and they always say the same thing, "Wish I knew of these exercises before I had my accident."
In the video below I demonstrate two balance-stabilization exercises that will help you whether you want to get better balance for fighting and/or for injury prevention. The first exercise is the single-leg balance reach, and the second is the single-leg hop with stabilization. Additionally, the video demonstrates these exercises being performed on the sagittal plane (forward and backward) which is great for beginners.
Sets and Reps:
Beginners can start with one set of five to ten repetitions for each exercise, eventually building up to three sets of ten repetitions.
Advance folks can also perform these exercises on the frontal plane (laterally), and then the transvers plane (diagonal/turning). Perform three to five sets of twelve to fifteen repetitions.
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Single-leg balance reach, and single-leg hop with stabilization