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What balance exercises can help me with the balance beam?

Learning to balance and control your body effectively is extremely important for working the balance beam. Several balance exercises should be incorporated to increase skills at all levels. For example, a single-leg balance and reach exercise helps joint stabilization, as well as using the right muscles at the right time for neuromuscular efficiency.

To perform this exercise, stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. The hips should be in a neutral position with the chest up, shoulders back and down, and chin tucked. With the abdominals and gluteals contracted, lift one leg directly beside the balance leg. Move the leg to the front of the body and hold for two seconds. Return slowly and repeat. The floating leg can also reach to the side of the body, or around the body for further challenge.

As a progression to the above exercise, you can perfom a lunge to balance. A lunge to balance requires the body to balance through a more dynamic range of motion which enhances specificity and neural control. To perform this exercise, begin with thefeet shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. The hands remain on the hips. With the abdominals tight, lunge forward keeping the feet straight ahead, and the knees in-line between the second and third toes. Push off the front foot through the heel onto the back leg and maintain balance on the back leg. Perform 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Lastly, you can then progress to a hop with stabilization. Stand on one foot, hop on the the other foot, and stabilize the landing. Make sure that when you land, your foot stays straight and your knees stay in-line with your toes. Perform 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each leg.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.