Kieran123

Exercises to improve stability and balance

12 posts in this topic

Hey all,

Does anyone have any good exercises to help with balance and stability?

When I finish my swing, I don't always feel on balance.  When I see swings like Rory's and Adam's and their finishing positions it amazes me....obviously they've been swinging a club for a long time, but would like to work on this.

Cheers

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I've heard of people standing on 2x4s and making swings. They also sell these little balance ball thingies that you can stand on while swinging.

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Goblet squats for ankle stability and mobility (obviously good for other muscles as well). I do them with kettlebells.

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Thanks guys! - will give both of these a go.

Don't have kettlebells but have dumbbells

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Try swinging on one foot ... you don't need to hit a ball. Swing the club in the air ... about a half swing. Then go to the other foot.

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Thanks guys! - will give both of these a go.

Don't have kettlebells but have dumbbells

Works just as well with a dumbbell, watch how the guy does it in the video. At the bottom of the squat the elbows are between the knees.

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Did some of these squats last night. My legs were on fire. Used a 30lb dumbbell. 5 sets of 20 reps.

Legs were jelly afterwards...I like this exercise a lot

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Did some of these squats last night. My legs were on fire. Used a 30lb dumbbell. 5 sets of 20 reps.

Legs were jelly afterwards...I like this exercise a lot

Nice, that's a good workout. You'll be feeling it for the next couple days.

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Nice, that's a good workout. You'll be feeling it for the next couple days.

I usually feel it in the smaller muscles of the hip, the abductors and adductors.

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Those goblet squats look crazy! I'm sure I'll be feeling that very quickly.

I don't know how your balance is already, but if it's pretty bad (you wobble when you stand on one food kind of thing), it might be good to start  by doing stuff without weights. Light doing one leg squats where you stand on one leg, arms out and do a half squat without shaking. You can also stand on one foot with arms up or out and then raise your heel so you are going up and down on the balls of your feet. They are really simple exercises but can really help you if your balance or ankle strength isn't great.

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Thread bump. A source I trust linked to this as good information:

http://startingstrength.com/site/article/balance_training#.VtiP25MrIdW

Quote

How do humans overcome imbalance?

At this point I’d like you to try something: stand up right where you are and slowly lean forward onto your toes. You’ll immediately detect imbalance using the systems I just described, then you’ll notice feeling slightly uncomfortable as your calves, low back, and other leg muscles start tugging to prevent you from falling on your face. This all relaxes as you come back to the mid-foot balance point. Now, lean backwards onto your heels and you’ll feel even more apprehensive as your quadriceps and lower leg muscles start pulling very hard to prevent a fall backwards. You might even reflexively extend your arms out in front of you in an attempt to shift the center of mass forward again. This again resolves as you come back to the mid-foot. All of this “extra” muscular force is required to overcome the imbalance resulting from the center of mass not being positioned directly over the mid-foot. Read that again and be sure you understand, because this is fundamental. Muscular force is required to overcome imbalance, and therefore to maintain it.

 

Let’s summarize:


  1. Balance is achieved when the center of mass is positioned vertically over the base of support.
  2. Humans sense disturbances in this relationship using the Vestibular, Somatosensory, and Visual systems.
  3. Based on this sensory information, humans can correct and maintain their balance by exerting sufficient muscular force to restore this relationship.

.... 

 

So it seems logical that for the vast majority of people, the best way to improve balance is to increase their capacity for producing muscular force. This improves their ability to correct for center of mass deviations and therefore maintain balance. In other words, they should get stronger.

...

Now, some of the best ways to waste valuable training time trying to improve balance involve “unstable surface” exercises. Of course, the idea behind these seems plausible to most people: stabilizing yourself in an inherently unstable situation, like standing on a rubber ball or on one foot, should make it “easier” to stabilize yourself on flat ground. But when you analyze the demands of these exercises – and therefore the adaptations they generate – things don’t make as much sense anymore in the context of our definition of balance.

 

Once again, recall our basic mechanisms of balance: 1) maintain the CoM over the base of support, 2) detect imbalances neurologically, and 3) correct imbalances using muscular force. Of course, by standing on a Bosu ball, a balance board, or a water bed you’ll immediately feel very unstable, simply due to your neurological system telling you so. You’ll feel your weight constantly shifting around, you’ll feel the rapid corrections necessary to avoid falling, and you might therefore be convinced you’re improving your balance with this truly “functional” exercise. But simply consider: did this exercise require you to increase force production, the fundamental mechanism of maintaining balance? It did not. In fact, there is ample data showing that force production actuallydecreases during unstable surface training (and this should make perfect logical sense).

 

So if you get better at standing on a rubber ball… what did you actually accomplish? It probably only made you better at one thing – standing on a rubber ball. Given the fact that we live and walk around on the Earth with a stable surface below our feet, if the stress we apply in the gym is to be useful in this context, it needs to be trained this way. In addition, it ought to be train-able – that is, something which can be progressively improved over time. How can we incrementally adjust the stress of standing on a rubber ball in a way that increases your capacity for force production over a long period of time? You simply can’t.

It looks pretty thorough

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