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3 Ways to Get Better Balance

Bad balance can throw you off your game, while good balance can improve your body's performance and fitness levels. Get-Fit Guy has 3 ways to get better balance.

By
Ben Greenfield
September 24, 2013
Episode #154

Page 1 of 2

Imagine a runner that you see jogging through the park or on a treadmill at the gym. You notice that their hip collapses to the side each time their foot strikes the ground, or that their foot flips awkwardly outwards each time their leg goes out behind them, or that they land with a forceful, seemingly painful “oomph.”

Or, think about playing your favorite sport – such as golf, tennis, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, or whatever else you love to do. Do you find yourself occasionally wobbly, feeling less-than-stellar balance, or not being able to aim hit, catch, or throw accurately?

All of these described are problems with balance – a notoriously neglected aspect of fitness. So in today’s episode, you’re going to learn 3 keys ways to get better balance so that you look better, perform better, and move more gracefully.

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What Is Balance?

You can simply think of balance as your ability to maintain your base of support with minimal postural sway or collapse. In physics, something called a “line of gravity” is used to define balance. Specifically, better balance would involve an increased ability to maintain your line of gravity over your base of support.

But in more basic Get-Fit Guy terms, balance is simply the ability to move your body and limbs around efficiently, precisely, and quickly while also being able to change direction without falling down.

Technically, maintaining balance requires coordination of 3 different sensory systems in your body:

  • The vestibular system, which consists of the sense organs in your head (primarily your ears) which regulate your equilibrium and give your brain directional information related to your head position.
  • The somatosensory system, which relies on nerves called “propriocepters” in your joints, along with the pressure and vibration sensors in your skin and your joints.
  • The visual system, which relies on your eyes to figure out where your head and body are in space, and also your location in space relative to other objects.

For you to be properly balanced, each of these components must be optimized. In other words, you need to have good eyes, good ears, and healthy joints. Here's how....

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