Balance to Burn More Calories and Get Stronger, Toned Legs, for Stand UP Paddling and Surfing!
Michelle getting ready for a session at Honolua Bay!
Want to burn more calories and immediately improve your performance? Step up and hang loose! Having good balance helps you perform better, get stronger, and reduce the occurrence of injuries.
Each training session, I incorporate balance training, whether my clients surf, stand up paddle, windsurf or just want to walk on the beach with more confidence. I always say, “water is an unstable element; always moving… so is your board as you carve your turns..recruit more fine motor muscles from your hips, knees and ankles and watch what happens.”
Balance training is a wonderful way to cross-train not only your body, but your brain gets quite a workout too! Your brain has to learn fast; how to fire all the muscles in the right order, and to keep you from falling off your board!
The technical term for this type of training is called neuromuscular and reactive training. This method of training definitely increases and enhances one’s performance, for it requires the ability of the muscles to exert maximal force output in the fastest amount of time! Your body is forced to stabilize and react as the central nervous system determines or sets the speed of this reaction.
There are endless exercises one can perform on different types of unstable platforms. I have over 10 or more pieces of equipment that allow me to change it up for my clients; depending upon one’s level of fitness and balance skills.
One of my favorites is the INDO (www.indoboard.com) It’s fast and you can do all kinds of tricks on it. I’d recommend starting on the sand or grass to slow it down if you are a beginner. The harder the surface, the faster! I also place the INDO board itself on top of a inflatable soft disc. Here, you can perform squats, push-ups, and many more exercises! If you are an advanced client, I’ll have them do bicep curls while balancing on the INDO board.
You can also perform single leg squats on a piece of a dense half-foam roll. Another great balance exercise that really targets your core is to balance on your knees on a stability ball! Starts first by being near a sturdy object.
What’s more, I like to use a piece of equipment called the BOSU, which stands for “both sides up.” It’s revolutionized fitness training and is really awesome. Simply standing on one leg is hard enough. Start with shoes first so your arch doesn’t burn, then as you get stronger, try it barefoot.
For my really advanced clients, like Tony Colletta, our N. shore lifeguard, pulling land 360s, as he rips on my custom built Kazuma surfboard that moves wildly on Brett Lickel’s Surf Ball. This is toe grabbing, hear-stopping fun!
My clients swear that they noticed an immediate difference on the water. Balance training burns more calories, tones your legs, works your core and trains the brain to react quickly.
See you on the water!
Stayed tuned for more articles to keep you fit on and off the water!