My pal Eddie and I were catching up this morning about getting back your inner athlete. Specifically, how do you do that amidst the constant hustle? You’re hustling at work, trying to create something that’s meaningful. Maybe you have some people (big or little) that you’re responsible for so there’s some hustling there. Before you know it, there’s disconnect between what you’d like to spend your time doing, and what you’re actually spending your time doing. You can’t have everything all at once but maybe it’s time to find some semblance of balance.
I’m not sure how to create perfect balance in life but I can give you some tips on how to improve your actual balance. Like, standing on-one-leg kind of balance. Why should you care about physical balance? Well, as you slowly start to bring out your inner athlete, maybe you want to run, jump or throw with a little more grace. Also, balance is important to keep you from falling down. You don’t want to be THAT guy that eats it in the parking lot.
Without practice, we naturally lose proprioception, becoming worse at understanding where our bodies are in space. Luckily, there are tons of ways to embed balance training into our regular workouts so it’s not an additional thing you have to do, but rather a part of what you’re doing.
Any change in your regular plane of movement or by simply decreasing the stability of your standing surface will challenge your balance and over time, force improvements in the tiny muscles that stabilize your joints. My favorite modification is to shift to one leg whenever possible. This challenges the core and really forces you to concentrate on your movement as you wobble like an idiot off in the corner of your living room. But if you keep at it, just a few times a week substitute a few single legged exercises, you’ll notice your balance improves super fast plus you get stronger. Also, your brain volume increases and who doesn’t want giant brains?
Here’s a pic of one of my girls, KILL-ING IT, during her biceps curls. Check out that solid core and wicked balance.
If you try a one legged balance, with or without an addition of a functional movement like biceps curls, you might notice a side-to-side difference. I call this the Child Carrying Side Effect. It’s a highly scientific term to describe a significant side to side difference in strength and balance because of the years spent carrying your child(ren) on one hip while completing all other activities of daily living with your one free hand. This can also be related to BackPack Phenomenon or TelephoneInNeck Syndrome. Don’t stress, just keep working on it. Before you know it, some balance will be restored in your life again. Maybe not the perfect work-life-fitness-netflix balance you covet, but maybe you’ll be able to stand on one leg without falling onto your ear.
Here I am, resembling a falling tower. It’s pretty obvious my left side needs a little work.
Balance isn’t something you find, it’s something you create.
Now go on, go stand on one leg.