By Teemu Virtanen
You may not always consider that good balance is needed in your everyday life, let alone in any endurance sport. You need strong muscles and an ability to keep yourself steady in just about everything you do.
But to improve your performance level in long distance skiing, you sometimes need to take your time and do extensive balance training, which involves doing exercises that strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright, including your legs and core. By doing so, you will also enhance your skiing technique and ensure that your performance stays intact even if you are getting tired in a long distance ski race.
Doing balance exercises can be intense or as simple as standing on one leg for a few seconds. Or you can use equipment that forces your body to stabilize itself, like stability balls or balance boards. Or you can insert these exercises into your long aerobic workouts, particularly when on foot. Of course, tai chi or yoga can also be very effective methods to improve you balance.
Additionally, the Internet is full of different types of balance training exercises, and to make it easier for you, you can find some of those proven exercises below:
- Standing with your weight on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you
- Putting your heel right in front of your toe, like walking a tightrope
- Standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands
- Walking while alternating knee lifts with each step
Over time, you can improve your balance with these exercises by:
- Holding the position for a longer amount of time
- Adding movement to a pose
- Closing your eyes
- Letting go of your chair or other support
You can do balance exercises as often as you'd like, even every day, but remember to add strength training to build up your muscles that keep you stable. When you do balance training, you don't have to run, jump, or do any other high-impact or high-intensity exercises. Usually balance training involves slow, methodical movements.