Kneeling Balance on BOSU Ball
The goal of this exercise is to challenge kneeling static balance, core stabilization, and hip stabilization.
Set Up and Alignment:
Kneel with the knees and lower legs (shins) centered on the top of the dome. For balance assistance, the toes may touch the floor. For more balance challenge, lift the toes off the floor. Place the arms out to the sides at about waist height for balance assistance, or the hands on the hips for more balance challenge. Align the body in “centered” position from the knees through the top of the head.
Performing The Exercise:
Shift the weight onto one leg and slowly abduct (lift the leg out to the side) the other leg slightly off the dome. For further balance challenge, abduct the leg to the highest point where proper alignment (“centered position”) can be maintained with the spine, shoulders, and pelvis. Hold the balance for 10 to 60 seconds. Then lower the leg down to the top of the dome, shift the weight onto the other knee and shin, and repeat the balance on the other side.
Maintain neutral spinal alignment in both the lumbar and cervical spine, and avoid tipping the shoulders and pelvis to either side while the weight is on one leg. Contracting the core musculature will enhance balance performance. Centering the front of the lower leg across the top of the dome will help avoid unnecessary pressure on the kneecap. Variations and Comments: For more balance and stabilization challenge, move the non-weight-bearing leg through different planes of motion. Lift the leg in front of the body then circle to the side and behind the body. This drill can also be performed with a straight leg for more balance and flexibility challenge. As balance is mastered, point the toes of the back foot and attempt to keep them off the floor.
While performing static balances, such as single knee balance, the body should be “quiet” but dynamic. Avoid any movement that is not necessary to maintain or correct balance. As skill level improves and stabilizing muscles strengthen, the body will use less and less movement to maintain the balance.