I may or may not have been bored in my British Lit. class the other day.
I may or may not have used the crayons that were handed out as a part of the lesson that day to draw this instead:
This single piece of paper represents one of the greatest secrets I have learned in my college weight training class thus far: the principle of balance.
What it does:
By performing the exercise on a smaller platform, the abdominals and other stabilizer muscles are encouraged to engage in order to keep the body, um, balanced so it won’t fall.
Why it’s necessary:
Just like the framework of a house keeps it from crashing down, your core (abdominal muscles) supports your body and keeps it from toppling over. This concept is important for those who want add upper-body muscle; when your body realizes it has a strong enough core to support more weight up top, it will be more willing to add muscle up in your shoulders, biceps, pectorals, etc.
Why it’s challenging:
Balance exercises are a wake-up call for the abs; we live in a cradle-style world, where we sit in rounded, plushy seats, and maintaining a good posture seems to be a thing of the past. In effect, the core has felt no need to build itself up, so most of us have weak cores.
In addition to getting the abs to do their job, the mere principle of engaging more muscles in a single exercise will intensify the workout.
Why it rocks:
Besides creating a more hardcore (yes, punny) exercise, adding the principle of balance transfers immediately to enhancing the active lifestyle. Activities like surfing, volleyball, skateboarding, rock-climbing, soccer, skiing, being a ninja, etc. will become easier as a result of promoting your body’s ability to balance.
Get on it!