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Exercises for core and balance

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As Mrs. Dobby says, I am as strong as an ox as far as my legs are concerned, but with an ox's sense of balance (not that I've seen one on skis, mind). I do a reasonable of cycling (60-80 miles/week outdoors and some higher intensity indoor training sessions) so am reasonably fit and have reasonable leg strength. Unfortunately, I have a core of blancmange and my balance has never been good. If I am to keep up with the daughter when skiing in Feb. I'll need to improve the balance in particular. Anyone got any suggestions for exercises? I see that the Bosu ball is popular...


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 30-10-17 13:54; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Standing on one leg is good, and surprisingly difficult - especially if you close your eyes.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bosu
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Pilates (or yoga if you prefer that approach). It will give you a much more rounded set of skills for improving core strength and balance than any individual exercises.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Deadlifts, weighted lunges, bosu squats, russian twists, planks.
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@kieranm, agree that posh stretching will help the core in the long term (6 months+), but specific targeted exercises done in supersets of 20 or so 3 times a week will help much more in the short term. Or to both if you have the time/cash/inclination.
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Do a pump class 2x a week, plus a weekly circuits class and you'll be sorted. That covers all the above like @Dr John, says plus burpees, ass to grass squats, star jumps, jumping lunges and shoulder tap planks etc.....its actually great fun in a class situation.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just stuff I know about:
(1) Balance board. Cheap and simple, but not very interesting.
(2) Slack line. A bit more expensive but you can get short ones from Decathlon.
(3) Track stands. Or get a unicycle, but that's less useful in my view.
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Roguevfr wrote:
Standing on one leg is good, and surprisingly difficult - especially if you close your eyes.


This is a good one for balance only, especially as it's something that you can do easily when you're on the phone, brushing teeth etc. etc. I do it as rehab for an ankle injury and it's a big help. Also whenever I'm out on the bike I try not to put my feet down, but on 2.3 inch tyres that's not much of a test!
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"Core Performance" by Mark Verstiggen (sp) is worth a look.

I recently had a back sprain and his exercises - which are a basic combo of core stretching and strengthening - helped speed my recovery and give me a new, positive awareness of the area in general.

He also recommends eating well, giving up booze and getting 11 hours sleep a night. I didn't do any of those
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Balance - simple practice combined with (mainly lower) leg strength. Just practice standing on 1 leg for 20, 30, 60 secs - hold on to something at first if needed then progress to eyes closed, moving (twist, squat, waving arms & other leg around, bending...) etc. Progress to balancing on ball of foot if bunions allow.
Balance boards or bosu also good. I bought a wooden balance board from Decathlon for around £15, from memory, for ACL rehab. Good for overall leg & ankle strength, doing squats on, etc.

Core - I hear Pilates is good. Personally, never get further than a loss of front & side sit ups, curls, planks etc at home on the floor. Exercising all upper body generally helps, doubtless lower too - i.e. good all round stuff.
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Squats standing on a 1/2 Bosu ball seem to call for some concentration on the balance front and get you going up and down in a nice neutral way (i.e. not inadvertently leaning backwards or forwards at the same time)
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@dobby, Just read you initial post - why is balance going to help in particular in keeping up with your daughter, do you keep falling over, or are you going all over the piste rather than in a straight line? Surely if you cycle 60-80 miles a week you must have a pretty decent sense of balance, otherwise you'd be in a ditch or under a lorry?

I'm not sure what sort of skiing you are doing but if its off-piste then its for sure about core, if speed is your thing and "keeping up" suggests it is i'm assuming you are on piste, in which case i'd have thought balance isn't that big of a deal and that your leg strength gained from your cycling would stand you in good stead?! wink Id just do lots of stomach crunches, sit ups, superman planks, shoulder taps and twisting with a medicine ball sat with feet off the floor. I personally don't bother with bosu.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I have been using the Bosu ball squats with about 17kg in each hand and had a good wobble for a year or two amongst my other exercises. Started some personal training last night and the trainer had me doing Split Squats and I can report that my balance was not as good as I hoped. Add them into your repertoire. Easy to do and all you need is a sofa.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just saw this thread -- I do the 7 Minute work out app, alternate between "classic" and "core" -- I have definitely seen results. As for balance -- Yoga. Nothing else like it. In fact if I had the time and the money I would do hatha 3-4x a week and call it good.
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