We don’t practice or understand balance enough with life in general and then we take the crazy notion and strap some wheels to our feet and tell ourselves to go do stuff. This very reason is why many have trouble with learning how to roller skate or ice skate. In this first section we’re going to give you some exercises that I’ve done to help improve my balance. To start to understand balance you must first learn and understand how to stand on one foot. So pick one and let’s go.
It doesn’t matter if you start with your left or right foot. Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Now to stand on one foot, you first need to shift your weight to the shoulder of the same side foot that you intend to stand on. Left foot equals left shoulder and right foot equals right shoulder. Now when you shift your weight to the side you plan to stand on, don’t just lean over at the waist! Make sure your shoulder and hips move over to the side you intend to stand on. The shoulder and body should move as one solid unit! This will be true of any weight shifting from here out. Focus all of your mind, balance and weight on your shoulder of the employed side extending down the arm and to the hand. All of your tension should be on that side of the body that you are standing on extending through the arm, down to the hand. You should start to notice how stable and still you become. You should have very little wobble or movement in your ankles. Everything should be quite and still. Another thing I’ve learned is to fix your sight on an object. Object fixation will help give us a reference as to how we are interacting with the environment, so we are able to adjust our balance accordingly. In this case object fixation can be a good thing but we will talk about it later when it can be a bad thing. To prove how object fixation is a good thing for balance repeat the exercise standing on one foot but this time close your eyes. You’ll notice that you’ll have a harder time keeping your balance and you will use your ankles a lot more to stabilize your balance. Now to further experiment move your free arm and free leg anywhere you would like but maintain your focus on the control side which is your shoulder extending down to your hand. You should probably notice that you can move your free arm or your free leg almost anywhere without losing your balance very easily as long as you maintain focus on the control shoulder on the employed side. Switch feet and try the other side.