What’s the ONE thing you always overlook during training, but use every waking minute? The answer is balance. Balance is required while standing still, walking, running AND when taking on a obstacle mud run. This is why balance is important for Tough Mudder.
It is the most essential form of training for everyday life. It is the essence of being “functionally fit”.
There are a lot of reasons why we neglect balance training. One of the main reasons is we simply forget about it. Most of us don’t have a problem with balance, so if we are not falling over, we are not thinking about it.
If you don’t use it you lose it.
Balance is a neurological skill that deteriorates over time. Whether you are a world class athlete looking to gain that extra edge, or just trying to remain healthy, balance training is vital. Additionally, it is transferable to any sport and can be the limiting factor to improvement whether you are a lifting weights or landing tricks on a skateboard.
Balance and stability are the fundamental building blocks to speed, strength, and agility. Have you ever tried to run so fast that you started to trip over yourself and fall forward? In order to get faster, you have to be able to maintain good body position, have proprioception (body awareness), and be able to move through three-dimensional space maintaining your center of gravity.
There are a lot of ways to train and improve your balance.
From simply practicing one legged movements, to challenging yourself on a slackline, performing regular balance training will increase your core strength and proprioception. Bosu balls, obstacles and walking uneven terrain are all different ways you can challenge and improve your balance. There is significant research that has been done that shows that balance training on a slackline can help athletes prevent lower extremity injuries and recover quicker from existing injuries.
Balance training doesn’t have to be monotonous and boring either.
In fact, studies have also shown that when things are “fun” we don’t perceive exertion as much as if something is less engaging. This means we can see more results with less perceived effort in the end. So, mix things up and have fun challenging yourself in new ways.