Do you want to know how to increase balance with weightlifting?

By the time you get to the end of this article you will be armed with the tools to revolutionise your training and have seriously improved balance.

We all know that our core is the centre of our physical strength. Depending of how we train and support the core, it can have a huge positive or negative impact on our range of physical abilities to move confidently and with a high level of coordination.

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Here we will take a look at how weightlifting exercises can increase balance. 

My approach here is to start at the foundation and explain how, using weights in a particular fashion we can increase our balance.

The message is simple: use weights to improve balance.

What is weight lifting?

There is an idea out there that tends to associate weight lifting with bodybuilding or the elite performance athlete. Although this may be correct to some degree, weight lifting is now used amongst the general population for health, fitness and improved physical abilities in gyms and homes.

Simply put, weightlifting in this case, is pulling or pushing purpose made weighted objects in a specific motion of exercise.

How can weight lifting increase my balance?

As mentioned in the introduction, our core is vital to our posture and ability to manoeuvre our body.

By strengthening these core muscles, we can improve and enhance a range of things but in this article we will focus on improving balance.

Whatever your approach, if you choose to isolate the core or use compound body movements – for example squats – to engage it, dramatic improvement will be the result with correct weights and application.

use weights to improve balance_2Types of weight lifting exercises that can improve balance

To really affect your ability to improve balance, I find that selected exercises work best as this is the position we can recruit more muscles in and attached to our core. Single leg exercises, unstable surfaces and olympic lifting are among my selection.

Examples of Single Leg Weight Lifting Exercises
– Single leg squat
– Single leg deadlift
– Single leg dumbbell shoulder press, front shoulder raise or lateral raise

Above are some examples of standing weight lifting exercises.

Why do these exercises? 

When we stand on one leg to do anything, we recruit and force our core and connecting muscles to engage more intensely to prevent us falling over, and to anchor or coordinate with the exercise.

Performed with correct weight and form these are great ways to increase balance in motion.

Unstable/Elevated weight lifting exercises
– Steps
– Bosu ball
– Wobble board

When were are raised from ground level or stand on an unstable surface our moments and muscles become more focused on keeping us balanced and stable.

Why do these exercises?

– Elevation i.e. standing on a step or platform while performing military presses, back or front squats or a single leg exercise can create more intensity in the working muscles than standing on the ground alone.

Although the step may be firm, the elevation creates an illusion of fear of falling. It’s this that makes us concentrate on improving balance while moving the weight.

The Bosu ball and wobble board would be classified as unstable due to their structure. Most people who are beginners would use these pieces of equipment without weights. The more advanced athlete or individual would perform standing pushing or pulling exercises whilst balancing on the unstable surface.

The results here can be dramatic if performed safely and with a strong progressional plan.

Olympic Lifting

-Clean and Jerk
-Snatch

We’ve all seen the Olympics and many of us will have seen the weight lifting event. Whilst the aim of the event is to lift the heaviest weight to win. These are actually weight lifting exercises, they are just used in a competitive form and can be performed by anyone not just Olympians.

use weights to improve balance_4Why do these exercises?

– When performed with a moderate weight for the individual, the steps of these exercises recruit the entire body’s muscular network and it all activates from the core.

– What makes these exercises arguably the best to build strength for improved balance, is the fact that you have to move a heavy weight quickly from the ground to above your head and hold it in position for a short period of time.

Try this only with a qualified fitness professional, because if performed incorrectly it can cause injury.

Weight lifting exercises to try

Whatever your fitness level, one of the above forms of weight lifting exercise can improve your balance. If you’re not sure, I suggest start by performing your standing dumbbell or barbell exercises on one leg.

Remember safety is the key so have a partner or practice the movement without the weight to start if your alone.

Increase the challenge by moving onto an elevated or unstable surface to perform the same exercises with weights. Start out by using both legs on the unstable surface. Single leg weight lifting exercises on an unstable surface is very advanced and extreme care should be taken if performed.

Standing single weight lifting exercises:
-Shoulder press, bicep curl, single leg squat, lateral raise front shoulder raise, deadlift, bent over row.
-Standing unstable surface weight lifting exercises:
-Shoulder press, bicep curl, squat, lateral raise front shoulder raise, deadlift, bent over row.

Try these weight lifting exercises in any combination with good frequency and watch your balance improve. Remember if you’re new to exercise, always seek medical advice before undertaking strenuous exercise. Also make sure that you are suitably hydrated.

To know more or have a one to one, contact me. Feel free to comment, like or share. And remember Love Yourself!!

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