Balance Phase 3: Balance Power

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A few months ago, we introduced the idea of balance training and the many benefits it provides to runners. Now that you’ve completed Phases 1 and 2, you’re ready to move on to Phase 3: Balance Power.

(Haven’t completed Phases 1 and 2 yet? This is a progressive program, so don’t skip them! Start here.)

Guidelines for Balance Training

  • You may continue to incorporate some of the exercises from Phases 1 and 2 if you’d like.
  • Reps should be relatively high (about 12 to 20 total), but it’s a good idea to start a bit lower for the first week or two as your body adjusts to this type of training.
  • Complete the exercises two to three times per week.
  • As with all exercises, proper form is key. Form is more important than how many reps you complete or how long you are able to hold a position. Proper form is your foundation.

Phase 3: Balance Power
Four to six weeks of balance training following completion of Phases 1 and 2

These exercises are designed to improve the body’s ability to move from a dynamic state to a controlled stationary position. They build upon the stabilization and strength developed in Phases 1 and 2.

Single Leg Hop with Stabilization – Front to Back

  • Set up a “landing point” in front of you. You should start with it fairly close, and can gradually progress to greater distances.
  • Balance on your right leg, toes pointing straight forward.
  • Hop forward to the landing point, landing on the same leg.
  • Hold the position for three to five seconds, then hop backwards to the starting point.
  • After several hops, switch so that you are balanced and hopping with your left leg.

Single Leg Hop with Stabilization – Side to Side

  • Set up a “landing point” to your side. You should start with it fairly close and can gradually progress to greater distances.
  • Balance on your right leg, toes pointing straight forward.
  • Hop laterally to the landing point, landing on the same leg.
  • Hold the position for three to five seconds, then hop back to the starting point.
  • After several hops, switch so that you are balanced and hopping with your left leg.

Box Hop Up with Single Leg Stabilization – Front to Back

  • Begin by facing a step or box, standing tall and balanced on both feet.
  • From both feet, jump up onto the box, landing on just your right leg.
  • Hold the position for three to five seconds, then hop back down to both feet.
  • Repeat the exercise several times, then switch so that you are hopping up onto your left leg.

Box Hop Up with Single Leg Stabilization – Side to Side

  • Start by standing with a box or step to your right. Stand tall and balance on both feet.
  • From both feet, jump to the right onto the box, landing on just your right leg.
  • Hold the position for thee to five seconds, then hop back down to both feet.
  • Repeat the exercise several times, then move so the box is to your left and begin hopping up onto your left leg.

Have fun perfecting your balance with these exercises. Once you’ve mastered Phase 3, continue to revisit exercises from all three phases at least once a week to maintain stability fitness. Happy Training!

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Tracie is a former teacher and a lifelong learner who loves exploring. Most at home in the mountains, she enjoys tearing up and down the trails on her mountain bike, and occasionally leaves the wheels at home for a run through the trees. Having recently earned her personal trainer certification, Tracie thrives on helping others reach their athletic goals.

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