How to Improve Balance, Mobility, and Strength

by | Oct 25, 2017 | Balance and Flexibility, Be Active | 0 comments

Whether walking down a crowded street, or leaping through Swan Lake, we need our wits about us. Notably, we use our whole bodies for balance, mobility, and strength, to control our movements.

It’s important to realize we hardly ever stand with two feet firmly planted. In fact, in almost every physical activity, from sports to walking, we spend more time on one leg than two.

 

4 Benefits of Single Leg Squats

  1. All things considered, any squat is effective in strengthening your entire lower body and core muscles, and increasing mobility.  
  2. Interestingly, single-leg squats have the benefit of mimicking real movements, so you train your body the way you use it.
  3. At the same time, single leg squats develop balance, coordination, and reduce knee pain. Additionally, single-leg exercises strengthen core muscles, and stabilize movement. Plus, single-leg squats challenge your proprioceptive awareness (feedback from your body).
  4. Plus, single leg squats are portable. That is, we don’t need equipment, and can do it anytime, anywhere. Consequently, I often practice while waiting in line at the grocery store.

 

Challenges of Single Leg Squats

To begin with, you may find controlling your body is difficult. In general, most of us have a difficult time with the single leg squat in the beginning. To put it another way, it’s OK to struggle.

Specifically, you may find that it’s hard to stay balanced on one leg. As examples, your ankle might wobble, your knee may rotate, and your upper body can sway.

For this reason, start practicing the single leg squat slowly. For example, start by standing on one leg briefly (maybe 10 or 15 seconds). Next, as you get stronger, increase the time you hold your position. (BilateralSquatTraining)

 

How to Perform a Single Leg Squat

  1. Start standing with your shoulders relaxed, and concentrate on good posture.
  2. Then, tuck your pelvis, and tighten your buttocks muscles.
  3. Third, raise one leg, bending at the knee with your foot pointing at the floor. 
  4. At the same time, keep your weight centered on the ball of your standing foot.
  5. Finally, bend your standing leg slowly, while contracting your thigh muscles. 

All in all, don’t worry about squatting deeply, especially at the beginning. Specifically, squat as low as you can and stay balanced on your one leg. Sooner or later, as you become stronger, increase the squat depth as well as the number of repetitions you perform.

 

How to Improve Balance, Mobility, and Strength

(A Single Leg Squat Demonstration)

 

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