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Friday, September 01, 2017

If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, you’ve got to master one thing, and it isn’t the art of a dead lift; it is your balance. Every bit of your workout requires it. Trisha Ghoroi talks to fitness experts in the city and finds out about simple balancing exercises that you can incorporate in your regime

A “balanced” workout routine should comprise of strength, endurance and flexibility training, but it should also include balance exercises, which are usually ignored. Because doing balance exercises doesn’t help you gain muscle or lose fat, most people don’t give these exercises enough importance. But, as you grow older, the possibility of losing your balance and getting injured increases. So it’s better to start early on. We spoke to three fitness experts — Vinod Channa, celebrity fitness expert and owner of VC Fitness Gym; Riz Sunny, fitness trainer, sports nutritionist and founder of fitness YouTube channel, My Bollywood Body; and Devon Van Onselen, head strength and conditioning coach at ProSport Fitness Centre — for simple exercises you can do to improve your balance. Make sure you incorporate these in your regular workout.

With 23 years of experience in the field, Vinod has practically seen it all. He tells us, “Having good balance is very important and is required to complete our daily activities. Balancing exercises not only help our main muscles, but they also work on supporting muscles and strengthen them.” Here are a couple of exercises he suggests for better balance.

Single leg dead lift
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, keeping your knees slightly bent. Now, slowly bend forward at the hip and raise your left leg up off the ground and behind your body. Try and maintain your balance. At the same time, move your arms towards the ground. Once you’ve raised your left leg above your torso, bring it back down to the starting position. You can also use weights in your hands for added strength. Repeat this exercise five or six times.

One leg jumping on toe
Start from a standing position. Lift one leg off the ground so that you’re balancing the other leg. Bend the knee of your standing leg and push up off the ground and leap into the air. Make sure to land on your toes (landing on one leg only). You can use your arms in any way that feels natural to help you get off the ground and maintain balance. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Riz, who runs one of the most popular Hindi fitness YouTube channels, has over six crore views and eight lakh followers. He tells us about a couple of isometric exercises that are perfect for beginners. In isometric exercises, the muscles you will be working don’t actually move during the exercise.

Static squat
This exercise does not involve any movement, that’s why it’s called a static squat. Place your legs shoulder-width apart and bend your knees, pushing your hips back as you get into the squat position. Make sure your quads (or thigh muscles) are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

Static lunge
Start with at least an 11-inch gap between your feet. Take a big step forward with your right leg and bend your knee. As your body moves forward, your left leg will stretch. As you bend your right knee, bring your left knee down so it is two inches above the ground. Keep the tension on your glutes (muscles of the buttocks) and quads at all times. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat the exercise. 

Devon suggests a fun workout using a Bosu ball, a piece of fitness equipment. One side of the Bosu ball is flat, and the other side is spherical and curved.

Bosu V-sit up
Sit on the round part of the Bosu ball so that you are resting on your coccyx (or tail bone). Lean back and extend your legs till your body is as close to being in a straight line as possible. Come back up to make your body form a V shape with your torso and legs. Keep your hands by your side for balance.

Bosu stand/squat
nd on the flat bottom of the Bosu and try and keep still. (The curved part of the ball should be on the floor.) Once you’ve steadied yourself, slowly get into a squat while keeping your core engaged. Stay in the squat position for few seconds, then return to the standing position. Repeat this five times. 

Bosu ball side throw
Stand on the soft round part of the Bosu ball and hold a weight that you are comfortable with in your hands. Then twist to your right as if you are throwing the weight in your hands to someone. (Don’t actually let go of the weight!) Return to a standing position after this motion and rotate using your torso. Keep your core activated and try and limit hip rotation during this movement.


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