The Importance of Balance

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Published on: February 10, 2012

Balance.

Balance.  Such an interesting word.  It can be used to describe the complexities of political power alliances or challenge that minuscule-vegetable serving on your dinner plate.

As long as balance exists, things generally run smoothly.

The absence of balance, however, is equivalent to a skidding-face-planting-fall into concrete.  It. Just. Hurts.  ....Physically and Mentally...... 

On land, balance training is used to enhance the body's ability to interpret and respond to information about it's position in space.  It helps builds coordination, athletic skill and improves posture.  This type of training is becoming more critical as our society becomes increasingly automated with the advances in technology.

So what does this mean for Swimming?

Everything. 

The ability of the body to maintain alignment and balance in the water is critical for the success of any swimmer.  As children, we didn't have to think about "balance training,"  it was a natural side-effect of playing outdoors, climbing tree, jumping rope and simply being a kid.  Today, we sit - with bad posture - at computer screens for endless hours with little, if any, physically challenging activities.

As a coach and fitness profession, I consider any exercise that strengthens the core-stabilizing muscles and improves physical balance as a MUST-DO for swimmers.  

Below is one of my favorite videos (thanks to YouTube) that demonstrates a series of balance exercises.  Each exercise gets progressively harder.  I recommend working up to completing a single set of 20 reps for each exercise - daily.  Trust me, you will feel the benefit of this work in the water.

 

Keep on swimming,

Coach Meg

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