Change It Up: Become UN-Balanced!
Last week I talked about Uneven Loading and how in real life, we don’t always carry exactly the same weight in each hand nor do we perform anything symmetrically. Well today I’m going to introduce another subtle, yet VERY effective training variable – BALANCE! It’s time to get Un-Balanced!
Have you ever noticed how nearly every standing exercise starts with the following description… “place your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knee.” I’ll agree – standing in that manner gives you a stable base from which you can concentrate and focus on your primary movement. But what I’m going to ask of you is completely different – I want you to stand on ONE FOOT only.
But why would you want to perform exercises like shoulder presses, cable flyes, rows, side laterals and even biceps curls or triceps pushdowns on one leg?
It’s simple really – it’s HARDER – especially for your brain’s ability to multi task. As soon as that leg comes off the floor your Central Nervous System (CNS) has a billion more things to focus on in order to keep you upright and stable. In essence, it’s a challenge to make your brain and the signals it sends more efficient. Plus you’ll engage more of your core and it also helps strengthen the gluteus medius or side of your butt. This muscle is terribly deconditioned in many people. Standing on one leg helps to recruit this area and re-build some lost strength.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate this type of training it’s really easy. On any exercise where you stand, simply perform 2 sets – 1 on each foot, after a warm-up in your traditional stance. If you’re feeling really good or frustrated because you’re wobbly on one foot, try another 2 sets then move on. I know it’s hard to believe that this type of training can make you stronger but it can! Think of it this way – if you develop great strength and balance while exercising on one foot, how strong will you be when using a traditional stance? Give your body more to think about so that when less is asked it has a stronger drive. Very cool right?
It works! Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
And if you’re feeling really adventurous – why not try my Flamingo Workout Video – it’s all about one-legged training!
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.
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