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3 Quick and easy exercises to improve your balance

Shannon Clark has a Degree in Exercise Science and is a certified AFLCA personal trainer. She has been writing and helping others in the fitness industry for the last 9 years.

Don't ignore balance and stability exercises in your fitness routine.
One often-overlooked element in many fitness programs is balance and stability. While having good muscular strength is critical to optimal function and health, balance is also important, especially as you get older or for athletes involved in more intense training.

In addition to this, the more stability you have, the lower your risk of injury will be as well.

Still, balance and stability are rarely given any attention. With a few simple workout adjustments, you can quickly improve your ability in these areas, moving on to feel and function better than you currently do.

Let’s go over three quick and easy tips that you should know and remember.

1. Add single leg deadlifts

The first way to boost your balance and stability is to utilize single leg deadlifts. These are excellent as they are going to not only work the hamstrings and lower back very well, but since you are on one leg, you are going to engage your core muscles and increase their strength and stabilization capacity.

You will use far less weight when you first switch over to a single leg deadlift, less than half of what you'd normally use for a regular deadlift because you are less stable, so make sure you adjust yourself accordingly.

Start with a lighter weight as it takes time to build resistance and get used to this movement pattern.

2. Use a Bosu ball for squats

The next exercise that earns top marks for boosting your balance and stability is the squat on the Bosu ball. Bosu balls are great for using while performing regular exercises as they will get every core muscle contracting and feeling tension.

You can do shoulder presses, lateral raises, bicep curls and basically any other exercise you would normally perform in a gym while standing on top of the Bosu ball.

Because squats require you to lower down into a full squat position, performing this exercise on a Bosu ball is especially helpful for boosting lower body strength while increasing balance.

3. Lift a leg while doing lateral raises

Finally, the last simple improvement to a regular exercise is to lift one leg straight up when performing a lateral raise.

Again, this reduces your base of support, which is the key thing to focus on as you want to improve your balance capability.

The less support you have for balance, the more your spinal column muscles will contract to keep you standing.

Just be sure as you do this exercise that you don't let your back arch unnaturally or you will find that you are putting yourself at risk for lower back pain.

So there you have a few simple exercises that you can use to help boost your balance and stability. You don't have to perform these exercises during each and every workout, but by sprinkling them in periodically, you can ensure that you are going to reap many benefits for years to come.

Photo credit: matthiasdrobeck/iStock/360/Getty Images
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