I am the clumsiest person I know.
I once visited the home of my friend, whose house has stairs leading down to the door without any rails and asked him how he managed to get down the stairs. He quizzically looked at me and said he walked down them. “Without falling?” I asked hesitantly. He affirmatively replied and waited for me to begin my walk down the steps. “What about when you have groceries?” I further inquired, “still no falling?” Now he was getting impatient and said “there are people who aren’t as clumsy as you are!” I had no doubt of this but still wasn’t convinced that his doorway wasn’t a death trap. “What about when it’s raining or when it’s icy? You don’t fall down the steps?” I incredulously asked again this time slowly taking the steps one by one that lead into his house. He didn’t even answer me he just shook his head.
Steps, along with untied shoe laces, wet surfaces, uneven pavement, and rapid movements are a real cause for concern for me. They are genuine danger zones for a person like me. I have terrible balance and a weak core a combination that has made doing anything but walking in a straight line (and even that comes with its own sets of problems) extremely difficult for me. I have a genuine fear that I will be pulled over and be perfectly sober and asked to walk one foot in front of the other and be hauled off to jail because I’ll be sure to stumble down the line.
When I had my first training session, my trainer asked if there was anything he should know about me. I told him I can’t do burpees and pushups and I have terrible balance. He ignored the first two comments and made me do what seemed like thousands of burpees and pushups but he spent the last 15 minutes of the class working on my balance. I have a feeling he doubted how truly ungraceful I am but he learned quickly enough that for once, I wasn’t exaggerating. We worked on a BOSU ball (which he took great pains to explain isn’t a ball and hates when it is referred as such but whatever) and a wobble board. He told me I had weak ankles, a criticism that I never heard but that was easy to believe as I’ve rolled/sprained the same ankle no less than six times in my short
21 27 year life. He shook his head knowingly and instructed me to do balance exercise every day for five minutes a day.
Here’s a few of the exercises I’ve been doing, no equipment needed!
Knee raises-while standing on one leg, lift your knee towards your chest. The higher you raise your knee the more it works on your balance and core. I do 10 seconds on each side, three times a side.
Tree Pose – this is the pose pictured above, made popular by yoga. Stand on one leg with your other leg resting on your lower calf. Place your hands in front of your chest pressed together as if you’re praying, or for an added challenge, above your head
Grab a friend (or a little sister) and have them throw a ball at you to catch (this is actually taking me a while to master because my first instinct when a ball is thrown at me is to duck), while you’re on one leg and then throw the ball back to your friend. I do 10 throws and catches on each leg. Again, the higher the leg the better the workout!
Planks – bad balance is actually indicative of a weak core. Planks are supposedly the best exercise for strengthening your core.
I’m not sure when I’ll start seeing results but at the very least I hope these exercises prevent me from falling frequently. At the very most I hope to be able to do this:
No? Oh okay.
How’s your balance? Do you do anything to improve it?