Have you watched any of the French Open Tennis tournament? Can you believe those players can slide from side to side on the clay and remain standing? As we age our balance begins to lessen. On the pickleball court good balance helps us make those great shots. If you can move quickly, bend for those dinks and reach for those wide shots you are one step ahead of your opponent.
There are three types of balance: vision, inner ear (vestibular) and proprioception (when your ankle wiggles when you stand on one leg). Here are three exercises to practice daily to improve balance. Balance on each leg, doing more repetitions on the weaker leg. For safety, make sure you’re in the corner of a room. Turn your back to the corner because people don’t fall forward they fall backward.
- VISION, VESTIBULAR, PROPRIOCEPTION BALANCE:
Stand on one leg with your eyes open (I’m wearing sunglasses with eyes open). Photo 1.
- VESTIBULAR, PROPRIOCEPTION BALANCE:
Stand on one leg with your eyes closed. Trick — hold onto the wall with one hand, then the other hand, until you can release both hands. Photo 2.
- PROPRIOCEPTION BALANCE:
Stand on one leg with your eyes closed and head tilted back. Same trick — hold on till you can release both hands. Photo 3.
Have patience. You will get better at this; it just takes time.