I have 2 fantastic balance exercises for you that involve the foam roller (yes, you can use it for more than that glorious/sometimes painful myofascial release). But first, lets take a second to talk about balance. By now you’ve probably figured out that we LOVE balance. And we love it for two primary reasons…
1. Because balance is necessary – muscle balance dictates your posture (and increases or decreases your likelihood of injury), rest-activity balance dictates your recovery (and increases or decreases your likelihood of injury), your ability to balance while standing/walking/running/transitioning from any of those states can – a pattern emerges – increase or decrease your likelihood of injury.
2. Because balance is fun – it is FUN to play with your balance. A few years back I had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with a two-year old named Chester. Chester knew how to walk, but his gate was still relatively unstable. I’d take him to the Underhill Playground and he’d spend most of the time tottering back and forth from the pavement to the plastic matting. He was fascinated by the lip where the matting met the blacktop – it was angled to the ground (as the matting was slightly higher) and he thought it was a blast to try and walk along and over the edge.
As an adult, you can enjoy both of the wonders of balance. You can appreciate your strengthened sense of balance AND you can have some fun with it – here’s where the foam roller comes in!
If you happen to have a foam roller lying around the house, give these 2 exercises a try…
1. Lie the foam roller on the floor in an area that is clear of clutter (you don’t want to trip on anything if you have to step down). Step up on to the foam roller. Stand there – see how long you can maintain your balance. If you have to step down, see if you can beat your time.
2. Lie the foam roller on the floor in an area that is clear of clutter (again, you don’t want to trip on anything if you have to step down). Step on the foam roller with one foot. Bend your opposite leg so that your foot is off the ground. See how long you can hold. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Can you do it? Give our readers an idea of how long you made it. Easy? Hard? Variations? We’ love to hear from you – leave a comment below!
Live in the Brooklyn area and want to have some fun with foam rollers? We have cost by donation Functional Movement class every Saturday from 3:30 to 4:00! Drop-in or check out the schedule to sign-up.